Thursday, May 30, 2019

The weird fun game.

This is a weird game, is how one beginner described the Tennis game.Tennis is not a very common game in our communities. It is perceived to be a rich man’s game. Our community project in Kibera is meant to nature young tennis players from the slum into exceptional players. They are introduced into the game at a young age in our community court and graduate to the Sadili Oval Sports club where they get seasoned further. We have worked hard over the years to produce players who have joined the tennis national team.
Many children of different age groups who encounter the game, the first time do not understand it. They ask questions about the rackets and ball that always fascinate them. Since they can hold the racket and hit the ball, most of the balls fly out of the court and into the nearby Nairobi River. The child is then left wondering, what did I just do? You should see their face then.

Training session after school hours is fun and requires a lot of attention. They are taught on how to hold the racket properly `say hello racket?’.They are also taught how to swing the racket properly `draw a letter C’ the coach instructs. These take some time to perfect. They keep forgetting and are reminded by the coach. This is followed by foot work, the different tennis hits, serving and counting. Counting is the weirdest. We don’t say 0 point but we say love. We do not count the normal way as from 1,2,3,4 consecutively but  we start from love,15,30,40 and game.  All this is very unusual as you continue to learn the game.
Soon they learn to play the game. It is so much fun. They can now count and know when there is an advantage. They know when the serve is a fault and give room for a second serve. They know how to control the balls that once flew out of the court. The game now is so much fun that every Saturday they play each other find the king and or queen of the court. They now understand that even with good skills you need to be smart to win.
It is indeed a weird and fun game.


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