Frank Tayebwa and Winnie Birungi were on Friday flagged off for a tennis trip to France where they’ll rub shoulders with very experienced players and coaches as they train and compete at their hosting club, Association Familiae Turkerheim Club in France.
The duo flies out on Monday, 13th June and while in France, they’ll be staying at the homes of members of Association Familiae Turkerheim Club. They’ll be out for two months.
Tayebwa and Birungi who are siblings and students of Kibuli SS in Kampala earned tickets to France after they emerged triumphant in the finals of the male and female categories of the inaugural Uganda National Tennis Championship held last month at the Lugogo Tennis Complex.
While in France, the players’ major aim is to capitalize on the opportunity to better themselves in very many aspects of their game.
“I feel so excited about this…I’m going to improve on my skills and work on everything that I have been wanting to work on. When I return I know I’ll be a much better player,” Birungi said adding that she is eager to get to meet new people and learn new cultures and various ways of life.
For Tayebwa, he’s looking forward to playing and training with different players and coaches at the Association Familiae Turkerheim Club.
“This is a big opportunity for me because getting exposure outside the country is a good thing. I believe in the near future I’ll be playing at a different level,” Tayebwa said adding that; “you should expect fire when I return.”
Victor Drile who is the Public Relations Secretary for Uganda National Tennis Championship says that he hopes initiatives like this (trips for winners) will motivate the rest of the players to work hard during the next edition of the tournament whose qualifiers will be held later this year.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines helped the players with airtickets and their Sales Executive Joe Samuel Emwaat who was at the flag-off said that they’re happy to associate with winners, adding that they’ll be part of Championship for a long run.
Gerard Alain who is from the French Embassy in Uganda and a huge fan of the championship called upon sponsors to come on board to sponsor players or the whole tournament. Association Familiae Turkerheim happens to be his home club.
At the flag-off, Uganda Tennis Association (UTA) was represented by Alvin Bagaya. He expressed delight in the impact of the Uganda National Tennis Championship in helping to grow the game.
Meanwhile, the Uganda National Tennis championship is organised by Tena Tennis Academy in Uganda with support from the French Embassy in Uganda, Association Familiae Turkerheim Club in France, and the Uganda Tennis Association.
It is the first of its kind in Uganda, and it aims at giving young and upcoming players a platform to compete regularly at a national level.