Prestbury Tennis Club Head Coach Jon Cain went over to Uganda with his suitcase full of tennis rackets, balls and sports clothing to give to a local Ugandan Tennis Charity. Jon volunteered with Tennis for All for 8 days by delivering coaching, team challenge events, mentoring the coach team and running a tennis leaders course for local teenagers followed by a relaxing weekend on the Nile.
Tennis in the capital city survives on 3 clubs spread across the city which all charge for court hire too expensive for locals. The local charity relies on using a school playground for free which has to be dragged every day to get rid of the rocks and branches, then the lines are painted and nets put up every day. This however may go so they are looking for to build a new mini tennis court which they require £2000 of fundraising to keep their project alive.
The kids regularly turn up to their school tennis session with no trainers, playing with broken rackets and playing with one ball between 4 players. Zsig LTD kindly donated 120 tennis balls to the program which could last up to 2 years with their resourceful nature. Sadly kids have to pay for school and often do not attend as they have not paid for their fees and therefore miss out on education, tennis and playing with the friends.
Everyday kids are cueing outside the locked gates hoping that staff may let some in. The Charity delivers free coaching for kids on a Saturday morning for kids from the local slums and neighborhoods which they see 70 kids attend over a 3 hour period. A fun packed morning gives kids a break from the hardship and chance to play in safe environment. They require support from local volunteers so Coach Jon Cain helped support the program by delivering a tennis leaders course to 16 local teenagers
The tennis leaders course developed assistants learn feeding skills, how to run a practice & competition session, how to advertise and most importantly how to communicate on court. Many of these skills will help them in life and getting them jobs in the future as well as helping the well being of the local community and growing the game.
Vince and Julius who set up the charity in 2012 give out numerous hours of their time and supply attendees with equipment. They often have to walk for miles to different venues and eat the bare minimum yet still have energy to deliver quality coaching. They have even trained up a local Deaf teacher to deliver tennis to Deaf and children with disability whom years ago would be denied education and sporting opportunities.
Both coaches worked their way up by being a ball boy for clients at Lugogo Tennis Club and learning how to coach whilst picking balls for hours on end. Jon learnt how to mentor on his LTA Master Club Coach Award which came in useful on the trip by guiding sharing ideas, experiences in running Star Tennis LTD and wants to grow the charity from home.
Tennis for all want other LTA / ITF coaches to go over to support their program so they can develop as coaches as they do not have any coach education courses in Uganda. They also require funding and general support for their charity which you can follow on Facebook.
If you can help in any way please email Jon Cain firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.tennisforalluganda.com