Governments in the East African region will have to play a big role in supporting tennis in the East African region if they want the sport to grow according to International Tennis Federation development officer Thierry Ntwali.
“It’s not an easy task of running tennis in this region if structures for the sport are not in place,” Ntwali said in an interview. “Most of the federations in this region don’t get support from their respective governments.”
The Rwandan born tennis development officer is here conducting a high level I tennis coach/trainers course at Center Court tennis club Lugogo that concludes on Saturday.
“We don’t have the funds to help federations in this region however we can only give the necessary support if they have five year plan for the junior tennis initiative,” Ntwali added. “The federations have to choose coordinators who we pay yearly and also we can provide tennis equipment if they have a proper JTI programme.”
Uganda Lawn Tennis Association is trying to get back its affliation back into the International Tennis Federation after it has cleared its outstanding debts with the world tennis governing body.
Kenya has been the most consistent association in this region hosting several junior tournaments and has also received backing from its government.
Ntwali has been ITF development officer for this region since 2011 and has noted that Ethiopia and Eritrea are the most inactive members of his region.