"They are no strangers to the work of Wheelchair Tennis in Zimbabwe and have proved their willingness and dedication to the advancement and development of the sport."
Ben Madzivire is the new president of the Wheelchair Tennis Association of Zimbabwe (WTAZ), following the resignation of Lewis Garaba early this year. Garaba took on a new position as the secretary-general for the Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee (NPC).
Madzivire was elected on Saturday (17 December) during the association's general meeting. Olga Chisango came in as the vice-president, replacing Alexander Mkandla, who is now the development officer, while Kudzai Mandinyanya is the new secretary-general.
Madzivire was the provincial chairperson for Manicaland and Chisango has been volunteering as the communications' consultant for the association.
Chisango said they hope to develop the sport throughout the country and expressed confidence in her colleagues.
"They are no strangers to the work of Wheelchair Tennis in Zimbabwe and have proved their willingness and dedication to the advancement and development of the sport," said Chisango.
Chisango added that they have a busy year ahead with the fixtures for the beginning of the year already released and they are hoping to send a team to the World Cup qualifiers in Nairobi, Kenya.
Zimbabwe will host two International Tennis Federation (ITF) Wheelchair Tennis tournaments in 2012 – the Harare Open and the Bulawayo Open (part of the NEC wheelchair tennis tour). Besides that, the main goal of the association will be to send their top player Nyasha Mharakurwa to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
"He needs to play three tours to up his ranking to qualify in the top 46 required at the Games," said Chisango.
Chisango also mentioned that the association will also be focusing on the development of the sport at grassroots level in order to have as many players as possible taking part in Wheelchair Tennis.
Meanwhile, junior Wheelchair Tennis player, Shepherd Banda has been invited to take part in the Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters in France. Banda is one of the juniors who participated in the 2011 World Team Cup held in South Africa.
WTAZ development officer, Mkandla, said the developments showed that the sport was moving in the right direction.
"We are happy because it shows that our game is developing and our players are doing well for them to be recognized by the International Federation.
"It's encouraging to my colleagues to keep on working hard for the benefit of the sport. At least if we continue to do that we will develop more players and as the national association we will try to help him so that the trip is successful," said Mkandla.
Wheelchair Tennis is one of 20 sports on the programme at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.