Dar es Salaam. The national wheelchair tennis team left for Nairobi yesterday for the 2019 Kenya Open, which gets underway today.
The tournament, which is the biggest event on Kenya’s tennis calendar, has drawn players from Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and DR Congo.
“We are well prepared for this tournament,” said Juma Hamis, one of the national team’s key players.
“Our confidence stems from the fact that we are going to face players whom we know and played against several times,” he said.
Speaking to The Citizen a few moments before their departure, Hamis said lack of training equipment, especially racquets, is one of the challenges they are facing.
“However, this (lack of training facilities) can’t stop us from achieving our set goal,” he insisted.
“We want to write a history by winning the world-class event,” he added.
According to team coach Salimu Mvita, his players have what it takes to shine in Nairobi.
He named the players as Novatus Temba, Juma Hamisi, Rehema Selemani and Lucy Julias.
his players will also compete in the BNP Paribas World Team Cup – Africa qualifiers – in Kenya this month. Players who will perform well in the qualifiers will secure tickets for the world event to be held in Israel in May.
The coach said his players have been engaged in a serious training though sponsorship was the main concern.
“We are yet to secure an effective sponsorship despite sending voluminous requests to the business firms and individuals,” he said.
Mvita named the players making up her squad as Novatus Temba, Juma Hamisi, Rehema Selemani and Lucy Julias.