Takanyi Garanganga’s Total Greatness International Foundation is a dream born during teenage years.
Now aged 30, with 30 Davis Cup caps, Garanganga looks back at the formative years of his career as a period when the idea of giving back to his community started.
In an interview with ZTN this week, Garanganga, who launched the foundation last week, said this initiative is ‘part of his life.’
“People think this project started last year, but over the course of traveling in my professional career since I was 16, you are always meeting people who are asking what’s going on in Zimbabwe? Who is coming up? Why is Zimbabwe not playing so many tournaments? And stuff. “So all of those ideas it was just about putting them together.
“It means so much in the sense that it’s part of my life in creating stories from all the places that I have been to,” Garanganga said.
He said the foundation strives to improve junior players’ lives.
“I am also listening to the audience in Zimbabwe who have questions on ‘how do we get to be professionals and how do we get to go to college?
“I am somehow still intertwined with that, so TGI will be a platform for them hopefully to be able to answer those questions for them to use in a positive way, to be able to do whatever they need to do especially kids or parents or coaches.
“It’s really welcoming all stakeholders in Zimbabwe in terms of sport and youth development and tennis obviously because people know me for that, but we will look at all other skills involved in the development of kids.”
Garanganga bemoaned the dearth of local tournaments and hopes there will be more events in the future.
“One of the initiatives is that we have seen that in Zimbabwe we do not have enough tournaments or competitions. Normally kids are just being coached, trained and then they really have nothing to look forward to.
“We are using universal tennis rating, it’s a data software capturing system…that’s what we use to run our junior tennis tournaments.
“Three have run already since December, one at Old Hararians, the other one in Kwekwe and we just did another one with Zwiss open junior tournament diplomatic launch, but that’s our first.
“We are working with Tennis Zimbabwe and provincial boards by running these tournaments so any kid can enter a tennis tournament between the ages of eight to 18.”
Garanganga has been inactive on the court due to a knee injury but he says he has recovered and could start touring in June.
“I had plans from the beginning of the year, but obviously Zimbabwe had the lockdown in January, February and I wanted to play in South Africa in mid –February that didn’t happen and then we thought we were going to have the Davis Cup in March, but that didn’t happen,” he said.
“So there were always plans of competing but now that I haven’t been active I am going to build my stamina. Maybe around the middle of June, at the end of June I will start playing some events, maybe in Europe or North Africa just to get back into events.
“It has been a year since I have been in competition so I am looking forward to that,” said Garanganga.