Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

27 March 2013

Tanzania: TTA Mulls Over Rigorous Tennis Training Programme

APART from government intervention, Tanzania tennis will need to engage educated and progressive coaching and training personnel if the country is to propagate the game of tennis to satisfactory competitive levels, TTA Vice President John Bura has said.

Bura noted that the creation of an active tennis environment, retention of players through progressive coaching and provision of quality competition would promote local representation at continental championships.

He was speaking on arrival from Nairobi Kenya, where he attended the 2013 Confederation of African Tennis Annual General Meeting but also watched in disbelief as Team Tanzania failed to make a cut at the just ended 36th edition of African Junior Tennis Championship staged at the populous Nairobi Club.

Citing lack of enough preparation for the continued dismal performance at continental level, the Vice President said it was important tennis stakeholders reviewed the almost stagnating coaching and training programmes and give it a fresher look.

The 2013 season of the AJC attracted 16 nations to probably the most celebrated junior tennis championship in the continent and the eight member local representation had nothing to cheer with the best performer Goodluck Shelemo finishing 12th in the back draw of 28 players.

And Bura added, Tanzania lagged behind in tennis development and was therefore not attracting enough support from the world tennis body. He revealed that in order to attract bigger ITF / CAT organized continental and global tennis events particularly the AJC, Davis Cup and Fed Cup, local tennis needed to invest substantially on infrastructure development.

He said: "Our performance at continental level is on the low. One can easily attribute the situation to a weak team particularly in this year's event. I would say it was general lack of enough preparation. Our coaching levels might also have stagnated.

As we prepare for the next season of the event scheduled for Morocco, we must view all these challenges positively if we need to take the game of tennis to a satisfactory competitive level."

The vice President said Tanzania was missing out in major ITF / CAT funded opportunities particularly in tennis infrastructure improvement despite having been blessed with one of the most populous tennis ground in the region.

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