Wheelchair tennis players shift focus to drills

21Apr 2021
Joseph Mchekadona
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Wheelchair tennis players shift focus to drills

WHEELCHAIR Tanzania Tennis (WTT)'s leadership has said although this year's edition of Kenya Open championship has been postponed due to surging third wave of COVID-19, Tanzania's players will continue training.

Tanzania's wheelchair tennis players showcase their skills at Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC) courts recently.

Riziki Salum, WTT secretary general who also doubles as head coach of the national wheelchair tennis team, said they received information from the showpiece's organizers that the event which was slated for the end of next month has been postponed due to the third wave of coronavirus in Kenya.

The three-day tournament was slated for May 26-28 in Nairobi, Tanzania's contingent of six boys, four girls and two officials was to depart three days before the showdown's  start.

He said the information did not indicate when the event will take place, therefore, in an effort to avoid inactivity which can affect players' form and fitness, the association has directed that all the players should continue with preparations at the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC) courts.

He noted: "We recently received information from the organizers of Kenya Open which was slated for the end of next month, it has been postponed to a date to be announced later, so we have agreed that all our players continue with thier preparations.''

''The preparations will keep our players fit and ready for the new dates of the event," he said.

Kenya Open is the biggest event on Kenya tennis calendar and Tanzania is geared to perform well at this year's edition.

"The players will continue attending non residential training at Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC) as it has been the case in the previous tournaments, our target is to perform better than the previous edition,'' he said.

He, however, appealed to well-wishers to help the association get 4.6m/- which will be used for meeting transport costs, accommodation and other expenses.

The Kenya Open always attracts many players from Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and the hosts Kenya.

Tanzania's wheelchair tennis team have in the past competed at BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Turkey and Italy.

The BNP Paribas World Team Cup is the International Tennis Federation (ITF) flagship showpiece for wheelchair tennis.

Teams compete at the event through qualification at zonal level.

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