Two Kenyan youngsters have been invited to train at the Rafa Nadal academy in Spain but the current pandemic has put a hold on their plans for now and the family is hoping the government will help them to make the most of the opportunity to train at the Rafael Nadal academy
Kenya's Virani brothers hoping to get to Rafa Nadal academy in Spain
11 year old Zayyan Virani and 13 year old Raqeem Virani, whose favourite players are Rafael Nadal and Austria’s Dominic Thiem, have been dominating the junior tennis scene in Kenya for the past few years now and their father Rahim Virani is now looking for help from the Ministry of Sports to help his kids reach the Nadal academy in Spain, from where they have received an invitation.
According to The Daily Nation, last year, the brothers received an invitation to play in the 2019 TEN-PRO Global Junior Tour held at the Rafael Nadal Academy in Spain and Zayyan won the tournament. Officials at the academy were certainly impressed by their abilities and they received a second invitation to travel back to the academy this year on special terms.
However, the current pandemic has forced them to delay their trip. Jenny Coetzee, the Managing Director of Crawford International School, where the brothers study, said, " Despite the Covid-19 pandemic we are confident that Raqeem and Zayyan will be able to travel to Spain and pursue their six-year scholarships."
James Kenani, Tennis Kenya’s president, said, "The ITF will not wait for us. We just need to know how we should go around and solve the problem with guidance from the Ministry of Sports, otherwise we will lose out on this opportunity of a lifetime."
The Rafa Nadal Academy is focused on children and young adults' formation and combines tennis and education, so that the students can pursue their tennis career without sacrificing their academic studies. The Rafa Nadal Academy is located in Manacor (Mallorca, Spain), which is Rafa's home town, and is considered to be one of the top academies for young tennis players currently.
Rafael Nadal is the winner of 19 Grand Slam singles titles in his career - including a record 12 French Open wins. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the world and is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time.