The official launch of the 2020 East Africa 12 and Under Teams Tennis championship
  • EVENT: 4th East African Junior Teams’ competition – Zone IV
  • AGE GROUP: 12 Years & Under
  • DATE: Tuesday, 3rd – Saturday, 7th March 2020
  • VENUE: Lugogo Tennis Complex, Kampala

Sports federations and associations in Uganda have a number of challenging hitches.

The much chorused inadequate facilities, far from convincing development programmes, incompetent leadership, among others; the common multiple of all, remains underfunding.

Whereas most federations have labored to seek sponsorships, others simply haven’t established the brand and worthwhile attractive product to lure key partners on board.

The Uganda Tennis Federation, an affiliate of the Confederation of Africa Tennis (CAT) and International Tennis Federation (ITF) is among the sports bodies in Uganda of the 51 under the National Council of Sports (NCS) docket.

Like a typical parent, NCS runs to the rescue of its sons and daughter associations with timely assistance that comes in kind and at most packaged in monetary terms.

As the UTA hosts the fourth edition of the East Africa Junior teams’ competition (12 years and under), NCS has come up with two major supplements – the venue (courts) and yes, money, worth Shs 12,000,000.

For the next four days, the Lugogo Tennis complex will be a busy hub as Uganda hosts Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Seychelles and Ethiopia for the grass-root tourney whose top performers will progress for the continental showpiece.

Tennis and NCS officials address the media at UOC Headquarters, Lugogo on Monday

Addressing the media at the Lugogo based Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) head offices, Cedric Babu, the Chairman of the Uganda Tennis Federation expressed gratitude for the assistance from NCS, stressing the essence of the grass-root structures with the 12 years and under tournaments as this.

Babu was flanked members of his executive committee and the head of Corporate Affairs at NCS, Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo.

“I am humbled for the support from the National Council of Sports (NCS). As a federation, we are working hard to ensure we get independent sponsors to support our programmes. For all sports, tennis inclusive, the grassroots remain key,” he noted.

Cedric Babu (middle) talking to the media at UOC headoffices, Lugogo on Monday.

Kigongo in his brief speech convened NCS’s message of hope and deliverance.

“NCS is glad to work with all the sports federations and associations. We have provided the playing courts and a token of Shs 12M. We shall remain focused on the sports development process in the country,” Kigongo stated.

Smiles during the launch of the East Africa 12 years and Under Tennis Championship at Lugogo, Kampala

Team Uganda:

Uganda will assemble a team of 6 players; three per gender who have been training under veteran coach John Oduke and Edward Odocken.

Junior Julius Nyaata, Nasser Ochom, and Francis Agonzebwa will constitute the male team.

The girl’s team has Charity Akot, Eseza Muwanguzi, and Edna Nabiryo Lovinsa.

“Our team is ready to compete because they have been training well under experienced coaches,” Babu added.

East Africa will qualify one team in the boys and two teams in the girls to compete at the final event of the 12 and under African Junior Teams championships (AJTC – 12&U) which will happen in September 2020.

Dean Kibirige, Vice Chairman of Uganda Tennis Association (UTA)

Competition details:

The tournament serves off on Tuesday, 3rd March 2020 and the teams will be pooled into 2 groups of 3 to 4 teams, played on a round-robin format.

The teams ranked first and second per group will qualify to compete at the playoff of four teams.

Singles matches shall be the best of three tie break sets.

Veteran sports journalist Innocent Ndawula coordinated the well-organized press conference

Tournament Officials:

Alvin Bagaya is the tournament director as Ronnie Oduor is the tournament referee.

There are six umpires confirmed to include; Anthony Abok, Charles Wanyama, David Lwanga Tyaba, Michael Ssebide, Charles Okurut, and Patrick Luyinda.

Thierry Ntwali representing the continental and world’s tennis bodies will oversee the entire running of the event.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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