After launching wheelchair tennis in the country two years ago, the Rwanda Tennis Federation (RTF) has continued to expand the sport in other categories in line with the International Tennis Competitions.
Speaking to Times Sport on Sunday evening, Valens Habimana the RTF secretary-general, said that they have begun introducing Deaf Tennis to schools for the deaf.
The local tennis federation further explained that, through their talent development program, last week they introduced the sport to over 80 students aged between 10-20 years at Butare School for Deaf and Hearing-impaired (C.J.S.M) in Huye District.
“We have set plans to extend to all deaf schools across the country through our talent development programs, we shall also continue supporting these schools through training and supplying them with equipment,” he explained.
Deaf Students participating in Tennis training session at their school
In Huye district, Habimana noted, “They have donated an assortment of tennis balls and rackets on top of appointing a coach based in Huye district to further train the hearing impaired students who are eager to take up tennis as a professional sport.
FRT believes there is nothing to stop the deaf or people with problems to do with hearing to enjoy tennis to the full or to achieve anything the way it’s done in other sports disciplines.
Meanwhile, The National Tennis Federation is holding talks with USA based AJ Tennis Academy International to promote and develop the sport in the country.
Justin Jennings, an American Coach was in Rwanda recently and held two clinics with both the top eight local professionals ahead of this year’s Rwanda Open.
The Academy donated tennis equipment including rackets and balls to RFT.
The president of Tennis Federation in Rwanda, Amb. Theoneste Karenzi said it is a privilege for the AJ Tennis Academy International to choose Rwanda.
“They have a brilliant vision and values to educate the mind, build the body, initiate tennis to children while constructing their lives positively. We have discussed areas of mutual cooperation,” he added.
AJ revealed that discussions are underway with RTF to acquire land so that they can invest and build a tennis academy complex that can be used by 5000 people.