More than 30 Ugandan youth from the slum community have benefitted from tutorship by tennis icon Vania King at Kabalagala, a Kampala capital city suburb.
During her playing days, Vania alongside Yaroslava Shvedova inked her name in the women’s doubles history winning Wimbledon and the US Open titles in 2010. The pair also contested the 2011 US Open final with Vania winning 15 WTA titles and reaching a career-high 3rd ranking in the world.
“Work hard and follow your passions” advised the Taiwanese – American who turned professional at 18.
She also believes that “it’s important to stay good in school because you never know whether tennis is going to work out as a profession but you can always use tennis to help you get opportunities elsewhere”.
‘To be truthful, I never thought of tennis as a sport I can pursue greatness, but now my opinion has changed” echoed one of the female participants.
Uganda is proud of excellent tennis players with the most notable being the now retired John Oduke and Duncan Mugabe.
The current crop is also up and running with players like David Oringa, Boris Aguma, Simon Ayella and Frank Birungi readying themselves for the Davis Cup. This will be June next year in Congo Brazzaville against the host, Botswana and two yet-to-be-known teams.
The women are also lining up a Fed cup challenge in Lithuania led by Evelyn Obel, Patience Athieno, Winnie Birungi and Jane Frances Nabanoba.