Tennis club unearths new talent

Emakhandeni Tennis Club, one of the country’s prime facilities in the sport, recently announced plans to revive some tournaments that had become dormant with the collapse of the facility.

After years in the doldrums, coinciding with the country’s dwindling fortunes in the sport, officials said the club was ready to hone more local talent.

Arguably the country’s most prominent conveyor belt of tennis talent during its heyday, the facility has recently undergone renovation after years of neglect by authorities.

It successfully hosted the National Youth Games Bulawayo last year and the club’s Chairman, Kindness Moyo, told The Zimbabwean of plans to host other tournaments, including the Dumiso Khumalo Memorial Tournament and the Emakhandeni Open. The now-late Khumalo is one of the most well-known stars the club produced.

“We will be having the two tournaments this year. We are waiting for the Bulawayo Tennis Board to give us the dates while we finalise with the sponsor,” said Moyo. “These will be national tournaments from the Under-10 to Under-18. The club is now fully up and running. We have many junior players who will be playing there.”

Apart from Khumalo, the Emakhandeni Tennis Club has produced other top talents, such as Gloria Mpala, Farai Madzimbamuto, Noel Wadawu and Matthew Gumbo, who have all gone on to scale international heights. A lull in the club over the years has coincided with a dearth of talent in the sport locally.

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