Kenya risks losing the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Training Centre at Moi Stadium Complex if it is not completed in the next one year.
Tennis Kenya (TK) president James Kenani confirmed that they have been given an ultimatum until the end of next year to finish the project or risk losing it to other countries all together.
“They have told us this facility needs to be ready by the end of the new year or we lose it to either neighbours Uganda or Rwanda,” added Kenani. The project was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta and the ITF president, David Haggerty alongside top Ministry of Sports officials in 2018.
Kenani said they have been in touch with the Ministry of Sports, who have asked for documentation from the ITF and hopes the construction will start in the new year.
“This is a good opportunity for us to ensure tennis players from across the country have an opportunity to play considering the private membership clubs have become very expensive,” noted Kenani.
The centre was initially moved from Burundi to Kenya temporarily due to political turmoil in the country and ITF hope the country would make strides and build a world-class facility at Kasarani.
The training centre was to cost between Sh400 andSh600 million with government footing close to 90 per cent of the budget.
ITF had given a grant of Sh5 million to cater for nets, tennis balls, cameras and other miscellaneous expenses for the facility. This grant has, however, been suspended due to inactivity at the venue.
Other facilities earmarked for construction included cafeteria, an administration block, swimming pool, hostels, gymnasium and floodlights.
The facility was expected to rival the ITF Training Centre in Casablanca, Morocco and Pretoria South Africa once complete and at the same time, attract players from the East and Central Africa region.
In a wide ranging interview, Kenani hopes to have the Kenya Open played next year after failing to stage it this year due to lack of sponsorship as well as get hosting rights for the Euro -Africa Davis Cup group 3 tournament.
Source: The Star