Players adapting to ‘new normal’ in training, says tennis federation

Gisele Umumararungu, one of the top female tennis players in the country. Athletes in non-contact sports were allowed to resume training this month. File

It may be too early to start counting their chickens – as far as competitions are concerned – but Rwanda tennis body (RTF) and players are adapting to the new normal in training.

Tennis players, like athletes in all other disciplines, were unable to train for nearly three months due to the strict preventive measures in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

However, training for non-contact sports was given all-clear from the Ministry of Sports, starting with June, and players have since been training at different courts across Kigali.

 

In an interview with Times Sport over the weekend, RTF Secretary-General Valens Habimana confirmed that training resumed, but, with new rules and restrictions for players and training facilities.

 

“We have set new rules – in line with the government’s prevention guidelines – for the players and facilities, and so far so good. They are being respected, and players are quickly adapting to the new normal,” said Habimana.

The guidelines oblige that players bring their own equipment – rackets and tennis balls – and observe at least a 3-metre social distance at all times.

“Beyond being tennis players and administrators of the game, we are also part of the larger Rwandan society. Fighting Covid-19 is our responsibility too, that is why abiding by the new rules was not hard. We do it for ourselves, our families and our country.”

Tennis courts at Amahoro Stadium and Rugunga-based Cercle Sportif are some of the training facilities under use currently. A maximum of two players can be on the court at the same time.

It is expected that competitive action will restart in September.

pkamasa@newtimesrwanda.com

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