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Sparc sparks junior tennis

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Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (LTAM) will be able to rate players for international tournaments after Sparc Systems Limited rescued the association with K1.5 million sponsorship.

The sponsorship will enable LTAM to hold a junior tennis tournament on August 26 and 27 at Malawi National Tennis Centre, situated at Country Club Limbe in Blantyre, the association’s Technical Director, Thompson Mtengula, said.

“[With] Sparc’s sponsorship, it is like we are turning the second page of tennis in the country. In the past five years, we have never had this type of sponsorship and the standards of tennis were dwindling. Following the support, we will be able to pick players on merit,” he said

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The tournament will attract players from zones such as Zomba, Blantyre, Domasi, Lilongwe and Mzuzu to compete in under-12, 14 and 16 events in girls’ and boys’ sections.

Sparc Systems Managing Director, Wisely Phiri, said they supported tennis because they were impressed with the strategic plan which the association presented.

“Normally, we have a number of associations that are looking for sponsorship. But we weigh on what they can achieve. If you look at tennis, they don’t have much support from the corporate world. We considered the structures. In this case, you look at under-12, 14 and 16. Then we looked at the roadmap they have. The association wants to select and nurture players that can represent the country in 2019. As Sparc, being a Malawian firm, we felt this was a worthwhile cause to support,” he said.

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LTAM General Secretary, Stanley Kaunda, said they were relieved with Sparc’s support.

“It will help us hold a national tournament. This is important because the kids will come together to interact and build relationships. They also compete and this helps coaches to assess their progress. This will also help the youngsters to gain confidence,” he said.

Ten-year-old player, Beauty Kaunda, speaking on behalf of the junior players, said they were looking forward to the event.

“First of all, I would like to thank Sparc System for the sponsorship. They have encouraged kids like us to play tennis and train every day. When I started tennis and played in a tournament, I said my game for my whole life is tennis and I will never leave it,” she said amid applause.

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