By Ellina Mhlanga
It’s likely to be a long time before tennis players are back on the court for some serious competition because of the coronavirus pandemic and ACE Academy head coach Martin Dzuwa says they will be focusing their energies on improving their players until such a time the situation is back to normal.
The Academy, based at Harare Sports Club, caters for players from as young as four years and although they cannot meet for normal sessions, have made efforts to remain engaged with their players.
“The Covid-19, it’s not only in Zimbabwe, it’s everywhere in the world. So everybody is going through such hardships and all that and I think we just have to listen to what the Government is saying and all that, so that everybody is safe. We have to keep safe at all times.
“The kids have been working hard. We have been doing a lot of physical conditioning. So when we get a chance to go on the court we are going to try by all means to go more technical because I think it’s going to be long before we start any tournaments and all.
“So I am going to focus more on the technical side of the game and try to get the strokes going because we are not getting into a tournament anytime soon. But we have been working on the physical conditioning and when we resume playing, I think it’s a long-term thing. We are going to work more also on physical conditioning, movement on the court and to be more technical,” said Dzuwa.
There is some hope for local sport as the Government is working on the way forward on how different sport-codes can safely resume their activities.
The different sport-codes are being classified from low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk. There have been indications that those classified as low-risk, where there is no contact and social distancing, can be practised are likely to resume their activities early compared to medium and high-risk under strict guidelines.
The different disciplines have to submit their plans on how they will re-open to the Sports Commission and will be vetted. The final approval will then come from the Ministry of Sport.
The World Health Organisation and national guidelines have to be adhered to for safety.
Dzuwa said in the event they are allowed back on the court it will be more of individual lessons until everything is normal.
“It’s going to be more individual lessons because we also want to keep safe we don’t want to have too many kids in one place.
“So it’s going to be individual lessons throughout until I think when everything gets back to normal, then yes we can start having groups and all that. And we start working on the tactical side of the game. But for now it’s going to be more individual lessons trying to correct the technique and we will take it from there,” Dzuwa said.
The ACE Academy has kept the young players engaged through video analysis of games including some of professional players and physical conditioning workouts, among other things.