The development of tennis game in the the country is facing multiple challenges following a missing link between the game’s administrators, players and coaches.
The cooperation between them has been weak to herald a further slip in the standard of tennis.
Stagnant growth, loss of sponsors trust and popularity are just some of the factors contributing to acute plunge of the tennis so far.
The tennis body (TTA), which has been under the leadership of Denis Makoi and her secretary Inger Njau for the past ten years, has attributed to the sever downfall before the new interim leadership joined them last month.
TTA officials have been working hard to develop the game but a go slow by coaches and players back-pedalled their efforts, and this has been confirmed by one of the stakeholders who pleaded for anonymity.
Lack of modern courts which has been reflected through TTA’s failure to host the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) sanctioned 18 and under tournaments in November has added salt to the big wound.
As an effort to the game’s promotion, the University of Dar es Salaam agreed to avail the Kijitonyama Postal courts to TTA for the development of the game but some domestic based coaches declined to cooperate.
TTA has poured some funds in refurbishment of the courts in collaboration with Airtel but there is slow progress in making use of the facilities.
Most of top tennis players and coaches are shunning the venue as they opt for Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC) tennis courts instead.
An impeccable source said TTA on several occasions has been pleading with coaches and players to use the Postal courts but without any significant success.
It has been established that some coaches have been demanding a training fee to the tune of 20,000/- per hour at the Kijitonyama courts, a move that TTA failed to comply.
TTA has other courts in Mwanza Isamilo schools, Mtwara, Lindi, Tanga and Morogoro but domestic coaches have been reluctant to make use of them in training people.
TTA secretary general Inger Njau confirmed that her association signed an agreement with the University of Dar es Salaam to use the Postal courts for development but failed to secure cooperation from coaches.
She said currently only two coaches use the Postal courts while there is no coach from Dar es Salaam training at any of the upcountry courts.
One of the coaches who pleaded for anonymity said many coaches prefer DGC to Postal courts as many parents accompany their children enroute to DGC.
“We get our daily bread at DGC and not Kijitonyama where there are few turnouts of parents,” he said.