Kenya's Padel makes strides against Argentine opponents in exhibition match

Prince Hilary Nyakabau Kenya Pedal Coach in a match at Padel Kenya Sports club during a Six days Padel clinic in Kenya. May 2, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

In a display of skill and sportsmanship, Kenya's top Padel player and coach, Prince Hilary Nyakabau, alongside international player Sunil Gidoomal, engaged in an exhibition match against formidable Argentine opponents.

The event, organized over six days by the Chandaria Family and hosted at the Padel Kenya Sports Club, aimed to inspire, train, and share the passion for the rapidly growing sport of Padel tennis.

Nyakabau, who has honed his Padel prowess over a decade in Spain, showcased Kenya's unique playing style during the match. He noted the contrast between Kenyan and Argentine techniques, emphasizing Kenya's fast-paced gameplay.

Despite a valiant effort, the Kenyan duo conceded the match to the Argentine counterparts with a set score of 4-6 for Kenya and 6-1, 6-4 for Argentina.

Expressing optimism for Kenya's Padel future, event organizer Dhiren Chandaria highlighted the positive trajectory of the sport since its introduction to the country nearly two years ago. Chandaria expressed plans to facilitate further coaching opportunities, aiming to elevate local coaches' expertise in Padel.

From left- Kenya and Argentinia team, Senior Padel player Sunil Gidoomal, Prince Hilary Nyakabau Kenyan Pedal Coach, Mundo Padel Director Mariano Sanchez and his 16years old son Valentin Sanchez, Argentinian Division 1 league Padel player in a match at Padel Kenya Sports club during a Six days Padel clinic in Kenya. May 2, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

He underscored the potential for Padel tennis to gain Olympic recognition, citing the burgeoning interest among Kenyan youth.

Mundo Padel Director Mariano Sanchez echoed Chandaria's sentiment, anticipating rapid growth for Padel in Kenya with increased coaching initiatives.

Sanchez's son, Valentin Sanchez, a 16-year-old player in Argentina's Division 1 Padel league, lauded the event as enjoyable and expressed optimism for Padel's expansion in Kenya.

For Padel tennis to thrive among Kenyan youth, stakeholders emphasized the importance of governmental support in infrastructure development and the establishment of sports academies.

These initiatives aim to cultivate a new generation of Padel enthusiasts, fostering a vibrant sporting community in Kenya.

The exhibition match served as a testament to Kenya's burgeoning presence in the global Padel tennis scene, signaling promising prospects for the sport's future in the East African nation.

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