Tanzania ought to invest in tennis- coach        

15Mar 2019
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
Tanzania ought to invest in tennis- coach        

A section of tennis coaches in Tanzania has called for serious investment in the sport for it to develop as well as seeing to it the country competes well with other nations.

Dar es Salam's junior tennis player, Bertila Mbunda, takes part in a training session at the Kijitonyama courts in the city recently. PHOTO: CORRESPONDENT

National junior tennis team's coaches, Goodluck Mollel and Charles Laizer, issued the advice after the country's U-12 team performed badly at the ITF East Africa junior competition in Kenya.

Tanzania was represented by six players, namely Selemani Farid, Hassan Mfaume, Irene Munishi, Nasha Singo, Hillary Ndosi and Eunice Kimaro, and the squad finished fifth in boys’ category while the girls' category saw the squad finish fourth.

The team only managed to register two wins against Seychelles and Somalia, beating the latter 3-0, and lost the remaining matches.

In the boys’ category, Kenya emerged as champions followed by Rwanda and Uganda in the second and third positions respectively.

Burundi took the fourth spot, Tanzania settled for the fifth position followed by Somalia in the sixth position and Seychelles, who took the last position.

In girls’ category, Rwanda took the top spot, Kenya finished second, Burundi and Tanzania finished third and fourth respectively and Seychelles finished last, as Somalia did not field a squad in girls category.

Mollel, who accompanied the team to the event, said Tanzania’s players were not well prepared to compete against top and experienced players especially those from the host nation.

The other problem that led the team to poor performance was lack of good communication between Tanzania Tennis Association (TTA) and the national team.

Mollel also alleged that TTA officials lack skills in motivating coaches to perform their duty efficiently, as he said many of the officials do not have love of the sport at heart.

"We are also to blame for the poor performance of the team, the players went to Kenya without good preparations, as a coach who accompanied the team to the tournament, I noticed this but did nothing as changing their playing method at that time would have cost us a lot,’ Mollel disclosed.

"I only gave them some techniques...our association also does not communicate well with coaches and players, the way the players are selected is not that good, there are good players who were not included in the team.”

“It is now time for Tanzania to change the leadership in the TTA, Kenya is dominating tennis in the region because the country’s tennis governing body leaders love the sport, they organize a lot of international events which expose their players and coaches.”

"I am well exposed because of the support which I get from my club and the Youth Development Program (YDP) which organizes a lot of events and seminars."

Laizer agreed that local players falter at international events mainly because they lack experience and exposure and asked TTA to organize many international events which will give the players the exposure and experience.

TTA president, Dennis Makoi, yesterday could not be reached for his comments but in previous interviews, he had been saying it is the wish of his association to host many events and send the country’s players to international events.

He, though, disclosed that financial challenges turn out to be the main problem that hinders the association from fulfilling its ambitions.

Makoi has repeatedly asked corporates in the country to support TTA, saying without support from companies and organizations the sport cannot grow in the country.