The National Junior Tennis team began intensive preparations on Monday ahead of this year’s ITF/ CAT 14 & under East African Junior Circuits scheduled for April 17-23 at Nairobi tennis club, Kenya.
The team comprises of six players, including three boys and three girls.
The one-week regional tournament has attracted 13 countries affiliated in the East African zone with each fielding a total of six players (boys and girls). in the 14 & under plus the 12 & under categories The event is used when ranking on the continental level and the best ranked players receive support from Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) to join any of the tennis academies in Africa.
Under the guidance of head Coach Jean Pierre Nshimiyimana, the team began a three-hour rigorous daily training session at Kigali indoor stadium tennis courts.
“My target is to make sure we send players in the academies for enhanced learning of the game and that will only be achieved if we can win medals in this tournament or finish in better positions to get better rankings,” said Nshimiyimana
The team includes youngsters Cyiza Joseph (boy) and Grace Gisubizo Ndahunga (girl) in the 14 & under category, Junior Joseph Mfashingabo and Junior Hakizumwami in the boys’ 12 & under category while Lonah Ishimwe and Carine Nishimwe will play in the Girls’ 12 & under category. Rwandan tennis players who have qualified to join these academies include former tennis star Eric Hagenimana and 17-year-old Ernest Habiyambere that went to South Africa and Morocco academies respectively after receiving better rankings in this particular event.
The team is set to depart for Nairobi on April 15.