AFRICA’S seed two in the 14 and Under category, Ernest Habiyambere has been given a permanent scholarship to train at the International Tennis Federation High Performance Training Centre which opens in September in Morocco.
Habiyambere, has been training at the ITF High Performance Training Centre in Bujumbura which he joined three years ago. The Rwanda Tennis Federation president Theoneste Karenzi confirmed the development on Saturday. He said that Habiyambere’s excellence in the Burundi centre helped him to land the scholarship.
“Habiyambere has been registering improvements ever since he joined the Burundi center. The scholarship will enable him to train alongside other elite players; gain experience by playing in high profile African circuits,” Karenzi told Times Sport. He added, “He will also be able to play and train in some European circuits and tournaments. We are counting on him to be Rwanda’s sporting icon in a few years to come.”
The sensational teenager earned the scholarship after staging a good performance in last month’s Africa Youth Championship in the 14&under category where he finished second and even went on to finish second in Africa. Habiyambere moved up to second place in Africa according to the current rankings released by the Confederation of African Tennis [CAT].
The rankings were based on the overall performances of African players, who featured in the Africa Junior Championship which climaxed recently in Kenya. With his incredible performance, the 14-year-old player has jumped from ninth to second position in two years. Last year, he was ranked sixth after winning the first two legs of the ITF/CAT 14 and under junior circuit played in Burundi, before finishing third in the third leg held in Kigali.