Dar es Salaam’s Sara Rahim Alidina—who is a 13-year old Grade 8 student at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa – was the star of her school recently after winning both the Sub-County & the County Table Tennis Tournament in June 2017.
Representing the Mvita County, the county tournament games were tough competition with 12 Kenyan players from different schools and clubs around Mombasa, including St. Charles Iwanga, Mama Ngina, The Aga Khan Academy, and The Coast Girls. The girls were organized into two groups for the first round and Sara managed to win all five first-round matches. She overcame Angela Muthani, a strong player from St. Charles by 2-0 in the semi-finals, which qualified her for the final round with Nahya Hamdani from the Coast Girls team. Sara managed to overcome Nahya, who was the pre-tournament favourite with the score of 2-0 to win the final.
Her win qualified her for the Kenyan Coast Regional Games as a top-seeded table tennis player by winning all of her 8 matches 2-0. She will represent Mombasa at the Kenya Coast Regional finals expected to be held in Malindi. The top four players from the regional finals will then qualify for the Kenyan National Racquet Championships 2017, which is expected to be held in August in Nairobi.
Sara is a true role model of showing that hard work pays off. She began training for Table tennis at a young age when she lived in Dar es Salaam and was a regular player at the IYSC’s triangular trainings and Ramadhan tournaments every year. Her trainings continued when she moved to the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa, who supported her trainings despite a busy school schedule. This led to being able to participate in various tournaments in Dar es Salaam and Mombasa. Her most recent achievement was winning in Unity Games Africa held in Mombasa in April 2017. She was also the runner-up in the inter-school table tennis tournament also held in Mombasa earlier this year.