This was a historic and epic moment for Somali Youth in London. It was a great atmosphere with some competitive but fun tennis played throughout the afternoon.
The Tournament, which kept the club's 3 courts busy from 2.00pm to 8.00pm, was split into two different age groups, the under 12s and the under 18s. The first to compete were the under 12’s.The standard of tennis was remarkably high, and the boys kept going through a long day that had some players playing as many as 6 sets of hard-fought singles. The tournament was eventually won by 11 yr-old Abdirizak Abdulle of West London, who beat his twin brother Hanad Abdulle (6 - 2). Abdirizak’s victories on the way to the final included a win over hard hitting 12 yr-old Abdulahi Daud of South London.
The under 18’s was equally competitive; the boys rose to the occasion and entertained the ever enthusiastic crowd with some brilliant tennis. The darling of the crowd was Omar Daud aged 16 who thrilled the crowd with his Forehands and volleys. On his way to the final he easily dispatched his opponents with ease. Like the under 12’s the final match was also a family affair. Two brothers Omar Daud aged 16 and Abdulahi Daud aged 12 battled for the top honours. Having lost to the eventual winner in the semi final at his age group, Abdulahi Daud steadied himself and came back to compete in the under 18’s. Daud impressed many with his hard hitting and tenacity against much older boys. On the way to the final he thrilled the crowd by beating two older (and much larger) boys He eventually lost against the eventual winner, Omar (1- 6).
Mr.Duraan Farah the vice president of Somali National Olympic committee who was the guest of honour said the competition was a positive response to his vision and commitment to ensure the development of the lesser-known sports in Somalia. Other dignitaries who attended included Mr Abdullah Mohamed Saneey the vice president of Somalia Athletics federation, Mr Shino Guhad former Somalia National basket ball player/coach and many others.
The Tournament was a great success, and thanks go to the community leaders and all the parents who gave up large chunks of their weekend to bring their boys - and to all the boys for their efforts. These were the remarks of Hassan Mohamud Hassan the chief coordinator of the tournament. When asked about the events Mr Hassan stated that the competition was to encourage the youth and rekindle their interest in the sports of tennis and to instil the spirit of discipline and respect among the youth at all times. Mr Hassan also stated that The Club will be staging more events like this over the coming months, so if any one is interested in competing to keep an eye on the Club's website at sombrityouth.org.
At the end of the tournament, an exhibition match that pitted the champion of the under 18s category Abdulahi Daud against one of the highly ranked Somali Tennis player in UK Liiban Xasan was hosted. A large crowd was on hand to cheer on both players and was treated to excellent tennis. The match went the distance and eventually won by the favourite Liiban Xasan.
The event finally came to conclusion with a stunning exhibition from a young Somali girl Anisa Daud aged seven. Anisa began playing tennis at age of three and now at seven, her tennis game has it all! Forehands, backhands, volleys, and serves! Anisa also routinely trains with both her older and younger brothers Omar and Abdulahi in the Youth club.