Thursday, August 4, 2011


Lorna (Kenya), Izzy (UK), Shebani (Burundi), Byron (Kenya)

East African junior tennis stars have arrived for this year’s East Africa Safari Junior Tennis Camp, which is slotted to take place from the 1st to 14thAugust 2011. A brainchild of International Tennis Professionals worldwide and managed by Kenya’s own Sadili Oval Sports Academy since its inception 12 years ago, this camp remains the most prestigious event in the tennis calendar in the region, and continues to attract large numbers of talented junior players between 6 and 18 years, from USA, Africa and Europe, to train and also compete in the East African Junior Tennis Open that marks the end of each camp, annually. Previous coaches who have attended the camp include Coach Bill Murray (former coach of Venus and Serena Williams), and Paul Holbach, Coach of Lindsay Davenport. The camp is sponsored by Professional Tennis Registry, Sadili Oval, Tamarind, Global Sports Alliance and Sarova Hotels. The camp shall include a warmup tournament from 6-7 August to take place at Karen Country Club, and it will climax with the East Africa Junior Open, from 12 – 14 August 2011 at Sadili Oval Sports Academy.
Players who have arrived include Henry Ayesiga (ITF 14 and Under Winner in April this year), Dennis Lutaaya number 2 in the Tennis Africa Cup. From Tanzania, top junior Yasin Shabani will lead his team that includes 16 year old Melissa Brown and Ibrahim Kessi. Burundi Tennis Federation is, once again, using the camp as an opportunity to sharpen the technical skills of players, and sent under 16 players:  Abdul Ishaka, Ashim Nitunga and Zuberi Moussa, who have joined Nairobi-based compatriots and top juniors Amadi Kagoma (quarterfinalist ITF 18 and Under in February this year and finalist in the Kenya Open mixed doubles), and Shebani Kabura. Players from Mombasa include Martin Wambua,  Binal Jayasinghe, Euan Nesbitt and David Nesbitt, while young talent from Victoria Tennis Ricky Omondi,  shall ably represent Kisumu.
The event was preceded by a 2-month Star Search, that took place around the East African region, beginning in Nairobi during the Virgin Atlantic Junior Camp in April, then followed by Mombasa, and running through Kisumu, Kampala, Bujumbura, Kigali, Arusha, before completing its journey back in Nairobi in June. Products of this camp include Wimbledon junior Hassan Ndayashimiye, Maurice Wamukowa, Rahab Mbugua, Sonia Mideva, Joab Odera, Aziza Butoyi and Terry Odera (all currently in USA).

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