The national junior tennis team is in Kenya for this year’s ITF/CAF 14 & under East African Junior Circuit that will start today and runs until April 23 at the Nairobi tennis club.
The team composed of six players; three boys and three girls, has been in rigorous training for the past two weeks at Kigali tennis courts at Amahoro stadium, under the guidance head coach, Jean-Pierre Nshimiyimana.
“The preparations have gone pretty well, I have seen a lot of improvements with the players, our aim is to make sure we finish in better positions to improve our ITF rankings,” said Nshimiyimana before the team left for Nairobi on Friday by road.
The continental level while the best ranked players receive support from Confederation of African Tennis (CAT), to join the best academies in Africa,” he added.
The team includes 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 fray.
Former Rwanda men’s number one, Eric Hagenimana and current No.1 Ernest Habiyambere, 17, are the only local players to have passed through these academies. Habiyambere trained in Morocco while Hagenimana attended a similar academy in South Africa.
The annual tournament attracts players from the East African zone, each fielding a total of six players (boys and girls), competing in the different age brackets.