Simbanet, a data network operator, has bailed out Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (Ltam) with a K7 million sponsorship for this year’s Malawi International Tennis Open.
The association was struggling to raise funds for the annual tournament, after Puma—their long time financier—pulled out.
Speaking during a cheque presentation in Lilongwe yesterday, Simbanet general manager Brian Longwe said they were concerned with the association’s situation.
“We accepted their sponsorship request because we felt that the tournament is important as it attracts international attention and failure to stage it was going to be bad for the sport,” he said.
Longwe, however, could not assure Ltam of their continued sponsorship saying: “We shall see what happens next after this year’s tournament has been played.”
Ltam president Wilson Kyumba described the sponsorship as timely.
“Without Simbanet , I doubt if we were going to hold the event. This is a great relief on our part,” he said.
The Malawi International Open will be held in Blantyre from November 9th to 12th.
Previously, the tournament, which comprises men’s and women’s singles and doubles, had attracted contestants from Kenya, Zambia and Italy, among other nationalities.
According to Ltam, men’s singles champion will pocket K735 000 while the women’s champion will get K700 000. n