|2012 Emerging Players: Zack Okong'o Basil (Cptn), Henry Ayesiga, Ignatius Ouma, Olivier Kigotho, Chizi Mutsumi, Shebani Kabura, Annie Lord, Emily Stonewigg and Sascha Taylor|
Sadili Oval Tennis Academy select team has jetted back to Nairobi from a successful Emerging Players Virgin Atlantic UK Tour 2012,touring Somerset in England. The team, comprising of tennis and basketball players, received intense technical and tactical training and match play with Millfield and Taunton. Basketball saw two players, Zack Okong’o Basil and Ignatius Ouma, Captain and team member, respectively, of Malezi School basketball team, first time semi-finalists at the Nairobi Provincial playoffs in March this year. This year, a young ladies formed part of the emerging players team: Chizi Mutsumi (15 years, Malezi School), Emily Stonewigg (13 years, Banda School), Sasha Taylor (12 years, Banda School) and recent ITF/CAT tournament semi-finalist, Annie Lord (12 years, Banda), who received first time experience on tour to prepare them for coming tournaments through tough practice matches against more experienced and well-heeled Millfield Tennis Academy Girls Team, who are ranked third in UK.
Malezi Boys Second Team won their meet against Millfield School with a trouncing of Millfield School Second Team under grey skies in Somerset. Third singles, Olivier Kigotho, beat C. Martin 6/0 7/6 (4) in a power game that lasted only 38 minutes, while Shebani Kabura and Henry Ayesiga were pushed to play their best, winning against 2nd singles Ross Price and 3rd singles Giles, 6/4 7/5 and 7/5 4/6 (8), to grab all three matches within 2 hours of play. Malezi also won both doubles matches, winning 6/2 and 6/0.
The Emerging Players UK Tour, a partnership between Virgin Atlantic and Sadili Oval, enteres its 4th year and offers special training and matchplay exposure opportunity to young talented players from Malezi School to play at some of UK's top tennis schools. Malezi School has been reigning champion in tennis in the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association Ball Games for the last 12 years. Millfield School, who hosted the players this tour, is amongst the top three tennis schools in the UK. "With these results, we are hoping to be considered for the senior team that will play for Malezi School at the next ball games", says Henry.