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WHEN they burst onto the tennis scene, the Mawisire family led by their father Zebediah, affectionately known as Zeb, got to claim their fair share of bragging rights in tennis circles for both Bulawayo and the country.
After deciding to learn tennis and utilising tennis courts that were lying derelict at Mthimkhulu Primary School in Magwegwe West, Zebediah, a former boxer, encouraged his children to embrace the sport and they have gone on to make a name for themselves.
Following a timely decision to take up tennis coaching, the older Mawisire has gone on to mould his children into stars in the mould of Fadzai (30), Vimbai (29), Tafadzwa (33) and the last he moulded was Takudzwa (16).
Three of the older siblings managed to get scholarships to the United States of America (USA) where they all managed to lift the countrya��s flag high as they won silverware.
But due to financial constraints the four have taken different career paths and have left playing tennis.
Fadzai, recently returned to the country and just like her father, she has ventured into coaching.
a�?After I completed my studies in the United States, I started working at the ITF (International Tennis Federation) training centre that is based in Morocco for four years and recently came back home a few months ago to be officially based here. Here I am working personally with two players that I will be taking over from my father (they were training with my fathera��s academy/foundation) and the two players are Lyle Zaloumis and Nicole Matukutire,a�?said Tafadzwa.
With the experience and knowledge she acquired while out of the county, working with some of the best ranked juniors in Africa, the renowned tennis player felt it was now her duty to come back and nurture some young and upcoming talents in the country.
She, however, said there was a huge difference between the tennis scene in Zimbabwe and Morocco.
a�?For starters, the number of kids playing tennis at a younger age is larger in Morocco than here. In Morocco they have different clubs, and each club can have up to 30-35, under-12 kids playing tennis. The fact that there are at least 10 functioning clubs in each city, that brings the total to at least 350 kids playing competitively.
a�?Because each club hosts tournaments every weekend, all these kids participate and spend a lot of time playing tennis. More play time locally gets them ready to compete internationally.a�?
On the other hand, Vimbai is still in USA where she established a thriving fitness business.
Tafadzwa ventured into nursing and Takudzwa,who is based in Zimbabwe trains at the Mawisire Tennis Academy/foundation.
Fadzai urged parents to encourage their children to play tennis as it is a very rewarding sport that deserves more attention.
a�?There are so many opportunities for scholarships especially in USA after Form 4. For those parents who already have their kids playing tennis, please encourage them to play regularly,a�? said Fadzai.