Dar es Salaam. Tanzania is gearing up to compete in the upcoming All African Pickleball Games to be held in Ghana later this year.
This was known during the inaugural Tanzania Pickleball Open tournament in Dar es Salaam, which saw teams from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and other countries participating.
Mynard Max, the founder and director of the East Africa Racket Sports Club, the organiser of the tournament, said that the preparations for the All African Games, including player registration, have already commenced.
Max said the game has now reached an international level in the country, with the Tanzania Open providing participants with an additional opportunity to excel and enhance their international presence.
“This year, we established the Pickleball Association, representing Tanzania in the game. We are currently gearing up to participate in the All African Games. There are still opportunities for those interested to join the association, register, and undergo training. We have coaches capable of teaching players of all ages, from five years old to adults up to 70 years old,” he said.
Hassan Kassim, the game’s trainer at the East Africa Racket Sports Club, highlighted the significance of the competition for the national team.
“While we have previously held local competitions, this is our first major national competition, involving players from Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi.
“The matches included mixed doubles, doubles, and singles for both men and women,” Kassim said.
He described pickleball as a game similar to tennis, with a smaller court and a ball that doesn’t bounce as much.
Kassim expressed enthusiasm about the potential for more competitions in the coming year, preparing Tanzanians to compete at the international level.
Tanzanian player Fatema Dewji, along with her brother Hussein, shared their experience, mentioning their elimination in the final against fellow Tanzanians.
“We reached the finals in doubles and were defeated by our fellow Tanzanians. The competition was intense, but it provided us with valuable lessons. We are now regrouping and preparing for the next competition,” said Fatema Dewji.