Thursday, February 11, 2010

Henry Ayesiga Aiming High

My name is Ayesiga Henry. I am from Uganda. I was born in 1997 and I am 13 years old. I came from one of the small slums found in Kampala, Uganda. Life in that area is hard because of the Hygiene and Health of the place. I was brought up by my Father and Mother. My family is made up of five children. We are four boys and one girl. I am the second born child. I was introduced in tennis by my father because he was working in a tennis club called Kampala Club as a grounds supervisor. The salary that he was getting was not enough to sustain us with all our needs. That made our life hard, because my mother had no job and staying in school was very difficult. I joined tennis at the age of 8 years, while picking balls for members at Kampala Club to earn some money and help my mother and I found the game very interesting. I started working very hard with the encouragement of my father and a member of the club, Mr. John Nagenda, who told me that tennis was my talent. One day, I was told that there was going to be a free tennis camp for all children at Lugogo Stadium, and many children went, and I got to meet Dr. Liz for the first time. Because of my efforts and hard work, I was given a tennis scholarship in Kenya, I have never been so happy and my parents are very proud of me. I finally got to go to Malezi School and I train to improve my tennis at Sadili Oval. My dream is that one day I will become a professional tennis player and a Lawyer after school. I also play basketball and football during my leisure time. I one day dream of achieving my goals and help my family, relatives and friends who need my help. Malezi has helped me to know myself and to discover who I am, and I managed to complete the primary school with good passes in KCPE and graduated to high school this year, where a few of us are now part of Sadili Talent Training Academy, which helps us balance between school and tennis. Through Sadili, I now play very well and have represented Uganda in Under 14 tournaments, and I am also number 2 in the 16 and Under and number 1 in the 14 and Under in the Tennis Africa Cup tournaments ( In April this year, I played the ITF 14 and Under Circuit, and was runner-up in the first event and won the second one, making me number 18 in the Confederation of Africa Ranking. I also work with younger children from the slums of Kibera every Saturday, helping coach and advise them, all of us are expected to do this at Sadili, and I find it very interesting mentoring other children and watching them improve. I know that it is not easy to look after me, and hope that more people will come out to sponsor more children, but this is my home now, and I am sure that Malezi and Sadili will help me to achieve my goals for the future.

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