Mbarara. Uganda’s U-12 National qualified for the Africa Junior Championships courtesy of their medal winning displays at the ITF/CAT Junior Event in Nairobi – Kenya last week.
The African tourney is due in September in Morocco. Uganda’s young female trio of Eseza Muwanguzi, Maggie Namaganda and Faula Awino combined their efforts to collect gold in Nairobi and take the girl’s only berth for Morocco.
The boys; Junior Nyata, Troy Zziwa and Allan Otto finished second and were fortunate to find that there were two slots to Morocco in their category.
“I told them that this was the only chance they had to prove their worth and subsequently get more tournaments,” coach Edward Odocken, said enlightening the federation and press about the team’s fighting spirit in Kenya.
The sextuple trained for three weeks prior to Nairobi and it’s the team and Uganda Tennis Association (UTA)’s prayer that they do not put the foot off the pedal.
Individuals, however, have to pay at least Shs15,000 to get an hour at the tennis courts housed in the Lugogo Indoor Stadium – one run by sports governing body National Council of Sports (NCS). “All we ask for is just an hour a day for these youngsters to keep practicing for Morocco,” legendary coach John Oduke, the first winner of the Uganda Open, said.
Odocken added that “we all know the free hours between midday and 2pm. Please allocate us that time to train the team.”
UTA chairman Cedric Babu, was however, less eager to mince his words especially because they intend to host the ITF Circuit in May while the four U-15 female players are expected to go for the FED Cup due April 14-21 in Montenegro.
“We have showed that with just Shs10m, we can return home with trophies. We know that with more support we shall be able to bring even more,” Babu said.