0Shares0000GOVT, ITF to construct Sh700mn tennis facility at Kasarani. Photo/PSCUNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday said the Government has started an initiative to make tennis a public sport available for Kenyans from all walks of life.The President said Kenya will follow the example of the United States where many tennis champions horned their skills in public courts rather than exclusive clubs for the well to do. The President made the statement when he held talks with officials of Ministry of Sports, International Tennis Federation, African Tennis Confederation and Tennis Kenya on the construction of a tennis training centre worth Sh700mn at the Kasarani Sports Complex.The National Training Centre, which will also host the International Tennis Federation training centre for Africa, will be the second of its kind in Africa and is bound to put Kenya at the apex of international tennis.The other ITF training centre in Africa is in Morocco but the Kenyan one will have the distinction of being at a high altitude.The new facility will make Nairobi a hub for tennis in Eastern and Southern Africa. The centre can also be a source of huge revenue from sports tourism when it hosts tennis features.The President said the Government has already allocated Sh30 million to start the construction of the facility and more is expected to be allocated through the next budget. Photo/PSCUPresident Kenyatta said Kenya is a sporting nation but so far little efforts have been made to make tennis a public sport.“Tennis has not been available to our people. We want to make it a public sport that is open to the people. The talent is there but it is facilities that have been lacking,” said the President.The President said the Government has already allocated Sh30 million to start the construction of the facility and more is expected to be allocated through the next budget.The Government has allocated 10 acres of land at the Kasarani Sports Complex for the construction of the training centre and the National Youth Service as well as the Ministry of Sports are contributing to its development.The President said he will urge the Kenyan private sector to support the development of tennis as a public sport.“Making tennis a public sport will inspire the youth and that is what is important for us,” said the President.The President said he will urge the Kenyan private sector to support the development of tennis as a public sport. Photo/PSCUPrincipal Secretary Ministry of Sports Peter Kaberia said tennis has not taken root because of the lack of public courts but that will change with the development of the centre at Kasarani.The President of ITF, David Haggerty, said the public tennis facility and training centre will be one if its kind and will provide opportunity for talent development.“In the US most of the champions come from public facilities. The home of Kenya tennis can give an opportunity for disadvantaged youth to become tennis stars,” said Haggerty.The President of African Tennis Confederation, Tarak Cherif, said the management of tennis in Kenya is one of the best in Africa and the new facility will enable the sport to rise to a new level.The Acting Director General of Tennis Kenya Saima Odima said Kenya will in June host the Davis Cup. He said 14 countries have already confirmed participation in the event.Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and Secretary Administration State Department of Sports, Kassim Farah, also attended the meeting.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
4 4 4 The country’s primary domestic cup competition may no longer be seen as a top priority for England’s elite, but, credit where credit is due.Two trophies in as many years certainly represents progress for a side that was at risk of becoming little more than fourth place fodder on an annual basis not so long ago.IT HAS BEEN A SUCCESSFUL SEASON, SAYS WINTERBURNBut Arsenal must build on the platform Wenger has created. Fans’ appetite for silverware may have been quenched momentarily, but bigger prizes are required, namely the Premier League title.The club can compete with the very best on their day, but the form and composure they have displayed at times must be maintained for an entire campaign if they are to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City next term.WALCOTT’S DAD: IF WE PLAY THIS WELL, ARSENAL WILL CHALLENGE FOR TITLEA case could be made to claim Arsenal are already contenders given the 12-point deficit that separated them from Jose Mourinho’s newly crowned champions is not insurmountable.However, it would be naive to suggest that strengthening is not needed if the gap is to be closed.Many pieces of the jigsaw are in place and none of the club’s key players seem to be at risk of an exit, yet additions could take Arsenal from the brink and back into the big time.But which areas of Wenger’s squad are in need of attention if a tilt at the title is to become a reality rather than a pipe dream?GoalkeeperThe fact Wenger has failed to settle on one of either Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina? between the sticks suggests neither man is capable of commanding the number one jersey on their own.Although the Poland international was given the nod for the Wembley showpiece, his petulance off the pitch appears to have ruled him out of the long-term running.Meanwhile, Ospina has endured a solid enough debut season on these shores, but doubts remain as to whether he is of the calibre that is required. His handling has been sloppy at times, although his shot stopping is sound.Top level goalkeepers normally come at a premium cost, but Petr Cech could be a relatively cheap option and would not require a bedding in period. Arsene Wenger 4 DefenceGabriel Paulista does not seem likely to be able to become a regular member of the side next season. He has played fleetingly since his arrival from Villarreal midway through the season, while Mertesacker’s return to form and Laurent Koscielny’s return to fitness have seen the club’s defensive issues ease.However, the latter two have clear deficiencies. Although they work well in tandem, more options are required to carry Arsenal’s defence through an entire season, as there is still a feeling they are not defensively sound against top level opposition.Meanwhile, a decision must be made in regards to Calum Chambers. Is he to become a specialist centre half, or is he set for a couple of seasons chopping and changing between right-back and the centre of the park? Either way, another experienced defender would not go amiss, equipped with pace and experience, ideally.MidfieldArsenal finally have a defensive midfielder. It’s been a long time coming.Francis Coquelin’s route to the top may have been unusual, as his career in north London seemed to be dead in the water when he was sent on loan to Charlton Athletic earlier in the season, but he has epitomised the Gunners’ new found ability to alter their style of play to secure a result, as we witnessed at the Etihad Stadium this season when Arsenal won 2-0.However, further additions are required. A player in the mould of Morgan Schneiderlin would fit the bill. Arsenal’s options in midfield are excellent, but it is clear they have several players with similar strengths.The likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey can all provide quality and creativity, but do they command the presence and power that is needed within the Gunners’ ranks?Coquelin has performed admirably, but the addition of another player to complement his talent who is capable of commanding the centre of the park would be hugely beneficial. Accusations that Arsenal fail to turn up on the biggest occasions have plagued Arsene Wenger’s side for the past decade or so.The Frenchman’s reign was regularly called into question during a trophy drought which threatened to taint his legacy in north London.However, the Gunners, produced arguably their best display of the campaign to ease past Aston Villa in emphatic fashion and retain the FA Cup on Saturday evening.Given how Arsenal have struggled against lesser opposition on the hallowed turf in recent years, the West Midlands outfit were entitled to arrive at Wembley with hope.Yet goals from Theo Walcott, who answered the call to lead his side’s front line with aplomb, Chilean dynamo Alexis Sanchez, central defender Per Mertesacker and French forward Olivier Giroud, left Tim Sherwood to lament the manner in which his side had been ruthlessly undone. Central strikerWenger has proved he is not afraid to change his preferred set of personnel to suit an opponents’ style. The belief that Wenger is stubborn will never entirely dissipate but his decision to field Walcott ahead of Giroud on Saturday was a bold one. Had it failed, he would have faced a flurry of criticism.Meanwhile, the Englishman’s excellent contribution in a central role is likely to convince him his future should be committed to the north Londoners. So, with Waclott, Giroud and Danny Welbeck to call upon, plus the talent of Sanchez, the Gunners’ front line seems well stocked. Yet the arrival of an out-and-out striker would be welcomed. Four strikers for four fronts.A stellar addition to Arsenal’s strike force could be the option that does not necessarily seem to be the most pressing concern, but it could also be the piece of business that transforms the team’s entire outlook. It is difficult to put a price on a 30-goal a season man.