Nine young tennis players from Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Dar-es-salaam are on their way to Bujumbura Burundi for the Eastern African Junior Individual and Team’s Championships 2023.
In the National Youth Tennis Team, Arusha is contributing five delegates, three from the City’s Gymkhana Tennis Club. These are Fred Ongige, Faith Nyamakula and Hadija Said.
The other two come from the Arusha International Conference Center (AICC) club and these are Elia Balthazar and David Tarimo. All the five players from Arusha play in the Under-14 category.
From Kilimanjaro there are three players all being girls fielding in the Under-16 category. These are Nasha Singo and Rachel Swai from the Rafiki Foundation Club of Moshi. There is also Eunice Kimaro from UWC International School.
Dar-es-salaam fields a single player, Happy David from the Gymkhana Club who plays in the Under-14 category.
The nine players from Tanzania are accompanied by two officials who are their Coach, Goodluck Mollel and the Matron Faraja Yindi.
Organized by the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) in conjunction with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Burundi Tennis Federation (BTF) the Championships take place in Bujumbura from 7 to 15 January 2023.
A total of eleven countries from the East and Central African Region are participating.
The states taking part in the event include Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Eritrea, Djibouti, the Comoros, Seychelles and the host Burundi as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to organizers, each nation is entitled to send a team comprising a maximum of 12 players, three boys and three girls each for the Under-14 and Under-16 events who will be sponsored by CAT.
But for Tanzania, they decided to field just nine players because the funds were not enough to pay for the initial lineup of 15 people, who were 12 players and three officials.
Nicholas Leringa the Arusha Gymkhana Club Tennis Coach explains that the Burundi Championships event is the qualifying stage for the forthcoming African Tennis Tournament coming up between May and June 2023