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UTA rolls out wheelchair tennis

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ITF expert Lawrence karanja (white cap) facilitated the training last week.

Last week, Uganda Tennis Association (UTA) held capacity building sessions for the wheelchair tennis coaches at Lugogo Tennis Complex in Kampala and at the Kampala School for the Physically Handicapped (KSPH).

Lawrence Karanja who’s is an ITF expert and a wheelchair tennis enthusiast facilitated the Kampala sessions and is upbeat that the participants will champion inclusion in tennis.

“These people (wheelchair tennis coaches) will help spread the wheelchair tennis gospel,” Karanja said adding that; “what I have observed is that, people are very blank about wheelchair tennis yet it’s been there since 1976 and is played in over 100 countries but few of those are in Africa.”

Going forward, Uganda Tennis Association is aiming to build junior teams and players and KSPH and other schools of the handicapped will be of great help as they seek to get more inclusive.

“These are very big strides in creating opportunities for everyone to play sports. We believe that this allows for more athletes, coaches and individuals to be part of the sport. The growth of Tennis has been immense and this in particular is a highlight of our strategic plan in expanding the game. To have the athletes that are differently abled will join the UTA family is a very key milestone for the Board and Sports in Uganda at Large,” Alvin Bagaya who’s an administrator at UTA said.

According to UTA’s Wheelchair Tennis – Uganda Strategic Plan 2022-2027, …they are keen to leverage on the disability programs in the country, the Ministry for Persons with disabilities, the Uganda Tourism Board through Miss Independent and the ITF to develop the game widely in the country.

UTA will also work hand in hand with Uganda Paralympic committee and the UOC to branch out to already existing organizations for support and spread of the game.

As a branch of Tennis, this development will allow for Uganda to be part of the inclusion program in sports since tennis is one of the units that does not have a branch for people with disabilities.

UTA has a lot in stock for wheelchair tennis including holding tournaments that will lay a strong foundation for an attempt at qualification for the Paralympic Games.

In 2019 December 15th to 19th, Uganda Tennis Association run it’s first Wheelchair Tennis Activity in a Historic moment for Tennis in Uganda with the support of the International Tennis Federation that made a donation of Wheelchairs, the UNIQLO program, Johan Cruyff Foundation and BNP Paribas.

An ITF Expert run a coaching introductory program which was the launch pad for the Wheelchair Tennis in the country but unfortunately the COVID-19 Pandemic stalled the progress for over two years.

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