South African sensation and World BlackBall Pool champion Senzo Gumede will be one of the participants at the Grand Mchana Open tournament scheduled for 22-24 September at the Mchana Grill.
The tournament in its first edition has attracted a total of 128 players,with Gumede seeking to continue with his heroic exploits in Kenya.
Speaking during the tournament launch,the 39 year old experienced player was optimistic of a good show even as he remained wary of stiff competition from representatives of other countries.
“Organization of this tournament is a big step in the right direction. When it comes to this sport I love it passionately and as the Continent we need to come together to take the game to another level because while as sports men and women we give our all there are some people who want to use us for their own personal gains which is not a progressive gesture. Talent is so much in Africa and player welfare should be prioritised in enabling in the development of this amazing discipline” he said
Host Captain Collins Tuwei assured the participants and fans of the great tournament in compliance of all the standard rules and regulations of the fast growing sport in Kenya.
“It’s a big honour we’re doing this for the first team yet it has attracted massive interest. I want to tell everyone including players and fans looking forward to attend that this will be a big tourney meeting world standards.We will apply the black ball rules though everything regarding the game will remain the same” he was quoted
Others to participate in the championship include former Uganda national champion Sula Matovu and Zimbabwean seasoned campaigner Christine Sengwe who feels that taking part in the Kenyan games will help her improve her focus since she was up against really good opponents as opposed to when she faces locals.
The Secretary General Kenya Pool Billiard Federation Doreen Wandia on her part continued with her appeal to the government through the office of sports ministry to boost its efforts of investing in the local pool industry.
“In our administrative capacity we are trying our best to improve the game and the Government needs to supplement us in further pushing for the growth of the game.There is a big tournament coming up in All Africa Pool Games to be held in South Africa on October 10 and we hope unlike before the good CS Ababu Namwamba will factor us in terms of moral and financial support” she remarked
“I want the players to come on board so that we can nurture the talent. It is good to learn from the elite players. Kenya has so many potential players only that they don’t have the exposure. One requires a lot of practice and calmness so that they can focus on the game and this tournament will be a big opportunity for our youngsters to learn,” added Wandia who is also the Vice President of All Africa Pool Association
Shujaa wa Kenya which has brought together 64 players will precede the main tournament on Thursday with its finals also set for Sunday as curtain-raiser to culmination of the overall major competition.
The local players are from various parts of the country including Kisumu, Eldoret,Nakuru,Machakos,Mombasa, Nairobi among others.Over 10 Countries are represented at the inaugural extravaganza.
The tournament top most winners in both events will take home Kshs 750,000 and 200,000 respectively.