Tennis players, who participated in the Malawi Open Championship at Limbe Country Club last week, have bemoaned lack of sponsorship for competitions as the major factor contributing to the sport’s stunted growth.
Women’s singles’ champion, Mary Luhanga, said the country needs more tennis competitions if it is to develop the sport and produce representatives for international tournaments and bring medals.
“The status quo is a demotivation as we have only one major tennis competition for the whole year. I still play tennis for the mere love of the game, otherwise there is no motivation on the ground,” said Luhanga who defeated Patricia Matola- Mlombwa in the final.
Despite the challenges, she described this year’s Malawi Open Championship as tough as more skilled local and international players took part.
Men’s singles’ champion, Zambian Edgar Kazembe, who is also the five-time champion, echoed Luhanga’s remarks that Malawi tennis needs more tournaments to keep players active.
“Malawi has talented players and a lot of potential that only needs proper support and the right motivation to reach higher heights in the sport,” said Kazembe.
Lawn Tennis of Malawi Technical Director and the tournament’s referee, Thompson Mtengula, said there was a bright tennis future in the country, citing the coming in of other sponsors such as Luby Masters and Mibawa Company. Puma Energy is local tennis’ main sponsor.
While echoing the sentiments that more companies need to sponsor tennis competitions in the country, the Tournament’s Director, Anthony Kainga, added that Malawi has more skilled youngsters who gain experience from such tournaments.
Other tennis players, Egon Tascher and Jayne Chapomba, echoed their colleagues’ sentiments.
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