Wednesday, 15 February 2012 12:58
Tennis Juniors Search for a Champion Series.
…let’s Search for a Champion!
The Search for a Champion series kicked off in September, 2011.
The pilot edition of was sponsored by Elgon Kenya Ltd – It is easy to say that “the kids are the future, and that they should be offered opportunities to grow & excel”… but to actually walk-the-walk by financially contributing to that concept is another thing!
In this quest of growing Kenya’s tennis, Packaging Solutions & Wetlands Meats followed in support of the vision. In the third round, Esther Passaris was the heroine, with her two children taking part in the event, it only served to ground her belief in their future by supporting this event.
The series has successfully staged three tournaments despite the challenges it has faced (rain; traffic; school schedules etc) and has recorded some valuable feedback from you: the parents & players!
Useful & Interesting facts (and observations) from the opening three events
The Search for a Champion series
• has so far recorded 170 entries, spanning over 3 tournaments in the series, across 8 events (Girls & Boys 8&under; 10&under; 12&under and 14&under respectively )
• 10 of the players have played across multiple age categories between events.
• The highest player participation was in the “Boys 10&under” (34 entries); followed by the “Boys 8&under” (25 entries); and the “Boys 12&under” & “Boys 14&under” (22 entries each).
• The lowest player participation was featured in the “Girls 14&under” category. The total entry received by each gender is as follows:
Boys: 103 entries so far over series… (61%)
Girls: 67 entries so far over series… (39%)
* 35 of the total recorded entries have been “No Shows” (i.e. did not attend the tournament as entered) throughout the course of the Series – 3 of whom excused themselves according to the rules & regulations with an adequate excuse (i.e. Doctor’s note & / or proof of illness).
23 titles have so far been won over 3 events – the following is a breakdown of the winners:
Winner’s Honour Roll:
Name: Affiliation: Title Won: No. of titles:
Keya Shah Girls 10 3
Shay A. Shah Kenton College Boys 8 3
Rushabh Shah Boys 10 2
Rhea Shah Ace Tennis Girls 8 2
Shivam Shah Ace Tennis Boys 14 1
Petty Andanda Zion Boys 14 1
Keeane Shah Ace Tennis Boys 12 1
Emil Teja Boys 12 1
Erick Sebastien Mtupili Ace Tennis Boys 14 1
Achu Madhieu Zion Girls 14 1
Riya Kantaria Ace Tennis Girls 12 1
Dennis Moses Boys 12 1
Tonia Kubai Joe Tennis Girls 12 1
Sada N. Ali Sadili Oval Girls 12 1
Ryan Randiek Boys 10 1
Mercy Mijide Zion Girls 14 1
Prisha Shah Ace Tennis Girls 8 1
The benefits of having “Cross-age Comparison” (which shows the position of every player across every age category,which they are able to do because of the tiered points allocation system – each age category carries a different weight of points (e.g. 8&Under category winner receives 75 points; 10&Under receives 125 points and 14&Under receives 300 points etc…).. is that it serves as an incentive for players who win consistently in their category to move “up” to the next to challenge themselves more on a competitive level, as well as aspire to acquire more points.
“We are set to move into a new era in competitive tennis in Kenya – we have long relied on the “rankings system” (as have many other countries…) for good reason. But, there is another system that has proven even better in terms of enhancing junior competitive tennis: ensuring children play within / amongst their ability group by classifying each player within a class & sub-class (always within “groups”) so that players play within these groups fight to move into “the next group” (as opposed to merely individual rankings which can often discourage those that are not always on the winning end of matches).”
The “Rating System” is centred around players participating in more matches & tournaments and aiming to maintain a winning record to as to qualify for promotion to the “next level/group” – this way, they can measure playing ability and improvement levels. The team at Search for a Champion has already devised a “Ratings Chart” based on those participants in the Series, which will be unveiled it to you at the next Series tournament. As with all new projects in life, a degree of acceptance is required from the beginning in order for it to fully blossom into a workable plan, but if United Kingdom; France; USA and many other countries have been successful in implementing and using a “Rating system”, perhaps we should be open to its advantages in Kenya? – Much more on this topic in the near future!!