Tanzania’s one and only tennis player is about to call it quits from all junior tournaments as she advanced in age next year.
Shana Mao currently 17, this becomes her final year that she participates in the Under-18 Tennis tourneys, in 2024 she will be fielding in adult leagues.
But Tanzania currently has only Shana, the teenager from the Arusha Gymkhana Club, representing the country in Under-18 Internation.
Once she departs from this category later this year, the country will have no other youth tennis envoy.
The Gymkhana Club Tennis Coach, Nicholas Leringa says it is high time the Tanzania Tennis Association stared recruiting more young players.
Meanwhile the Young Tanzanian Tennis Girl, Shana Martin Mao (SMM), from the Gymkhana Club of Arusha, will be representing the country in the forthcoming six junior tournament series in Kenya, Rwanda and Namibia.
“I have plenty of confidence, having been preparing for a number of tourneys in January and February 2023,” Shana boasts.
Shana kicks off the International Tennis Federation (ITF) latest series of tourneys with the forthcoming J30 Windhoek Under-18 Junior Tournament being held in Namibia.
To be held in the Namibian City between March 27 and April 08, the tourney comes in two installments with the first slot starting on March 27 and the second starting on April 3, 2023.
From Namibia Shana Mao again gets to fly to Kigali.
This is where she gets to participate in the Rwandan segment of the tourney, to be known as J30 Kigali, again the Under-18 Junior tennis, from April 24 to May 5, 2023, also being played in two instalments.
The first starts 24 April to 28 April, with the second one following on Mayday all the way to May 5, 2023.
After the Kigali Tennis Tour, Shana Martin will be back on the airplane seat, crossing on to Nairobi for yet another Kenyan segment of the J30 Under-18 Tennis series.
The J30 Nairobi series runs between 8 May and 19 May, 2023, in two consecutive installments in Kenya. The first starting on May 8 while the second follows from 15 May to 19 May, 2023.
Nicholas Leringa is the Arusha Gymkhana Club’s Tennis Coach and Mentor behind Shana Mao who also gets to accompany the girl, who explains that while there are many promising youth tennis players, the lack of sponsors stifles their developments.
“Shana has a supporter, that is why she can afford to play in international events and venues,” Leringa explained.
According to the Coach, from the number of competitions and tournaments that she has been participating in, Shana is among the top ranking tennis players.
In Tanzania at the moment, Shana Martin Mao is the only high ranking International Young Tennis Player and continues to climb charts.
Leringa believes that with the new leadership at Tanzania Tennis Association, the officials will work to ensure that there are more youth players from Tanzania.
Apparently, this is the final year for Shana Martin Mao, currently aged 17, to play in the Under-18 tennis tournaments as she gets older next year.