Many are the times that Parents and Teachers converge to discuss and agree the way forward for their school academic and extra curricular activities. At most times, the agenda is pre-determined and focuses on already existing programs. In this modern age where new careers that previously never existed are now among the most rewarding, its high time that schools became the major drivers of change.
Tennis courts and indeed Tennis lessons are not in most schools Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) agenda or even extra curricular programs. But if one has a keen eye on the global events and professions that are highly rewarding, it’s difficult to ignore the prominence that Tennis takes.
The iconic tournaments which are among many others are the Wimbledon Open and the US open. These tournaments receive global attention and the pay offs are on the upswing year on year. This is one reason why Zambian parents, guardians and school managements need to start giving Tennis the much deserved attention.
If this game received the attention it deserves, it will give Zambian students a shot at this very rewarding career. The example that Spain’s Garbine Muguruza bagging her maiden Wimbledon title on July 15, 2017 after beating US’s Venus Williams is still fresh in most minds.
Muguruza won the prize of £2.2 million (K26.4 million). The organizers confirmed that this year’s Wimbledon singles champions (both male & female) will receive £2.2 million each, an increase of £200,000 on 2016 prize.
Wimbledon is not only the oldest Tennis championship but considered the epitom of tennis not just for the displays, but the prize moneys at stake. For just making the first round prize, a player gets a prize money of £35k ( about K420,000) , Second round is £57k (about K684,000), Third round is £90k (about K 1 million) while Fourth round gives a pay out of £147k (about K1.8 million). The quarter finals are more lucrative at £275k (about K3.3 million) while the Semi-finals pay out are even higher at £550k (about K6.6 million).
For the US open 2017 running from 8 August to 10 September, the winners prize for both male and female singles is a whopping US$3.5 million (about K31.5 million), runners up is US$ 1.75million (about K15.8 million), Semi-finalists prize is US$875,000 (about K7.9 million), Quarter finalists get US$ 450,000 (about K4.1 million), while merely making the round of 128 to 16 players will guarantee pay offs of between US$43,300 to US$ 235,000 (K390,000 to K2.1 million.
The Zambia Tennis Association (ZTA) needs to work through the education system as well as academies and sports club to organize provincial and national championships. This would then have a credible way of the country picking out its best players to vie and participate in some of these prestigious Tennis events.