Rwanda Tennis Federation (RTF) has started a talent pool exercise to discover and prepare young players that will represent the country at the 2026 Summer Youth Olympics in Dakar, Senegal.
Done under the federations 'Youth Athlete Development Program', the talent search exercise is organised in partnership with the Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC).
It targets players aged between nine and 14 years as the federation hopes to create a new generation of good young tennis players by 2026.
The first talent search exercise took place from November 12 to November 13, at the Kicukiro Ecology Tennis Club in Kigali, attracting 65 players from seven clubs across the country.
Participating clubs include Birunga Tennis Club (Musanze), CIMERWA Tennis Club (Bugarama), Cercle Sportif de Butare, Cercle Sportif de Kigali, Amahoro Tennis Club (Remera), Kanombe Tennis Club, Ecology Tennis Club and Academy Tennis Club (IPRC-Kigali).
Federation president, Theoneste Karenzi, told Times Sport that they started talent scouting early in order to prepare the players the earliest they can so as to ensure that they take well-prepared players "ready to deliver medals" at the Summer Olympic Games in 2026.
"The young tennis players have been showing incredible talent throughout this scouting exercise. They have potential to compete against the best if they are prepared early enough and well ahead of the Dakar games," Karenzi said.
Those selected will go through a series of holiday training camps, beginning with the upcoming short school holidays in December and April before they are brought together for a long-holiday training camp in July.
After the three sessions, the federation and the Olympic Committee will make the final selection for the finest young tennis players that will start the road to 2026.