Tennis Kenya wins Africa Award

Tennis Kenya, the 2016 Soya Sports Federation of the Year, added yet another award to their collection when they won top Africa Award for most progressive federation on Saturday in Kigali, Rwanda.
Tennis Kenya received the award from International Tennis Federation (ITF)/ Confederation of Africa Tennis (CAT) during the CAT convention that ended  in the Rwandese capital.
TK president James Kenani was in Kigali to receive the award from ITF president David Haggerty and CAT president Tarak Cherif. Haggerty and Cherif had this week presided over the ground breaking in Kasarani, where Tennis Kenya Training Centre, will be constructed. They later launched the ITF High Performance Centre in Upperhill, Nairobi.
TK deputy president, Francis Mutuku, explained that Kenya overwhelming got node for its grassroots programmes, spread of tennis national programme and a vibrant national ranking for senior and junior players. “We also have a vibrant coaches certification programme, where we have been able to organise for refresher courses,” said Mutuku, adding that Kenya has been able to host many 12 years and under, ITF Under-18 and CAT tournaments. “Kenya is the only federation that has a full time national coach.”
Mutuku said the move to upgrade the tennis camp to an ITF High Performance Centre in Upper Hill before the official launch on Thursday endeared to many.
During the launch, Haggerty said they intend to expand the High Performance Centre to accommodate more talented players from the continent and predicted a bright future for tennis players in the region. The centre has 12 players drawn from Kenya, Burundi, Cameroon, Gabon and Madagascar.
Haggerty said ITF finance committee will meet in two weeks’ time in London to not only discuss the ITF East Africa High Performance Centre but also the amount of money they will invest into the Tennis Kenya Training Centre at Kasarani, now that it has earned full support from the Kenyan government.
“We have seen how the High Performance Centre that started as a camp over a year ago has benefited young players and for sure, it has to be expanded before even relocating to Kasarani,” said Haggerty.
“ITF must figure out the details and specifics of the project at Kasarani before knowing how much we can put in,” explained Haggerty, adding that Tennis Kenya will also have to put in an application for funding to make the process official.
“We shall be able to tell how much we shall give Kenya in a month’s time,” said Haggerty during the launch of the High Performance Centre that was attended by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) President Paul Tergat, the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) president Tarak Cherif, the ITF London office Project Administrator Frank Couraud and tennis Kenya president James Kenani.
Haggerty said they have allocated US$ 210,000 (Sh21.4million) for the High Performance Centre that was moved from Burundi two years ago. Olympic Solidarity has also supported the centre with US$20,000 (Sh2 million) while Tennis Kenya Sh700,000. Kenani said they will have to take another flat to accommodate the players in Upper Hill and perhaps relocated from Nairobi Club to Public Service Club to create more room for training courts.

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