Over 120 players representing 27 countries will congregate in Nairobi in March for the 36th Africa Junior Tennis Championship, organizers said on Tuesday.
The championships to take place between March 18-23 will be the first time the event is being held in Kenya and East Africa in its 36 years history.
"The Kenya Lawn Tennis Association is well prepared for the tournament that will also play host to over 50 coaches who will accompany the players, who have made it to the Championship through their zones," the association's Chairlady Paurvi Rawal said Tuesday the event's launch in Nairobi.
The event will involve players in the category of Boys and Girls 16 years and Under and Boys and Girls 14 years and Under.
The Championship will start with a Warm Up tournament from March 12 to 18 and thereafter the tournament proper will commence.
Tournament Director Francis Mutuku said this is to give the players time to get used to the murrum surface on which the game will be played.
He said the players qualified through their respective zone, which he named as Central Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Northern Africa and East African Zones.
"All the players then entered the Championship as representatives of the individual countries. However, the players who are currently in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) centers in South Africa, West Africa and North Africa participated in the qualifiers and though they entered representing their individual countries, they still came in as a team for purposes of their continued training," Mutuku said.
The countries that will participate in the event are Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivorie, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho and Libya.
Others are Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. Hosts Kenya will field a squad of 13 players.
During the tournament, over 40 delegates from various federations of African nations will meet in Nairobi from March 19 to 21 for the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) Annual General Meeting.
The meeting will be chaired by current CAT Chairman Tarak Cherif of Tunisia and attended by ITF Federation Director of Development Dave Miley amongst others and will also discuss the new proposal where talented players are sent to Morocco to perfect their skills, owing to its close proximity to Europe.
The confederation has 50 members. Endi