TENNIS Zimbabwe president Martin Lock has said the late Paul Chingoka will always be remembered for his tireless efforts to develop the game in the country.
The former tennis president passed on last Friday and will be buried today at Warren Hills Cemetery.
Under Chingoka’s leadership, the Zimbabwean Davis Cup team scaled great heights as they were promoted into the World Group and played against some of the best teams in the world at the time.
Zimbabwe then, had built their core around the Black brothers – Wayne and Byron and doubles specialist Kevin Ullyett.
The Zimbabwe Davis Cup team competed at the same level with the United States of America and Australian teams that had the likes of Andre Agassi, Marcelo Rios, Pat Rafter, Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge.
“It’s very sad to hear. Paul was president in the heydays when we had the likes of Byron Black Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyet. Those were the glory days of Zimbabwean tennis because we competed at the highest level.
“He did very well mobilising sponsors and spearheading support as well. The results were there for everyone to see and we would want to thank him for his immense contributions.
“Even after he had completed his stint as Tennis Zimbabwe president we were still in touch with him. He came to support Davis Cup matches although he had largely taken a back seat from the administration of the game.
“We will sadly miss him. Our thoughts are with the Chingoka family at this sad hour. Allow me to pass our sincere condolences as Tennis Zimbabwe” said Lock.
During his tenure, tennis in Zimbabwe was transformed from an elitist sport and was popularised across the country. The period also saw the rise of black players such as Genius Chidzikwe, Gwinyai Tongoona and Martin Dzuwa.
Chingoka also sat in the ITF board and the Davis Cup Committee for Africa. He was chef de mission of tennis at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and was chef de mission of the ZOC in Sydney for the 2000 Olympics.Chronicles