TENNIS

EDITORIAL: Angela Okutoyi needs corporate Kenya to thrive

The African Junior champion put Kenya on the global tennis map

In Summary

• Her stellar rise in the past 10 years has been remarkable but to maintain the upward trajectory, she needs financial support from government and corporate Kenya

• If Angela is to make the most of her obvious talent, she must be funded differently.

Angela Okutoyi with Novak Djokovic at the Wimbledon Open
Angela Okutoyi with Novak Djokovic at the Wimbledon Open
Image: HANDOUT

Angela Okutoyi's feat in winning the Wimbledon Junior Doubles title is a moment of national pride.

The African Junior champion put Kenya on the global tennis map as she teamed up with Rose Nijkamp (Netherlands) to win the doubles, beating Canadians Victoria Mambo and Kalya Cross 3-6, 6-4, 11-9. She is the first Kenyan to win a Grand Slam championship.

Her stellar rise in the past 10 years has been remarkable but to maintain the upward trajectory, she needs financial support from government and corporate Kenya.

It's unbelievable that she depends on donations and Tennis Kenya to fund her trips. 

If Angela is to make the most of her obvious talent, she must be funded differently.

She had a meeting with Sports CS Amina Mohamed after her return from the Australian Junior Open in Melbourne in February but she is yet to received any backing from the ministry. Our bright talent has to find accommodation and travel cash from donors — not the most reliable.

Her exploits should encourage corporate Kenya to support her and ensure she climbs the rankings.

What happened to the national tennis training centre that was to be built at Kasarani?

ITF president David Haggerty met with President Uhuru Kenyatta and was promised support for the centre.

Five years down the line, nothing has moved. If the country is to find more Angelas, the training centre should be ready to prepare other youngsters to conquer the world.