Daniel's Promise - Uganda
ATA in past supported Daniel’s Promise, a UK based charity established in 2008 by tennis coach Denise Gwatkin and Caroline Cardew-Smith supporting a Ugandan charity, Kampla School of Excellence Ministries (KSEM), set up to run an orphanage for 30 boys and another 55 disadvantaged children in the community of Rugabe, a district on the outskirts of Kampala.
Denise with her donations....
In July 2007, Denise had a vision of teaching tennis to children in the dust of Africa. Consequently in March 2008 she went to Uganda and spent a month teaching tennis in schools in Kampala. While there she met Daniel Ntale, who runs KSEM, and visited the boy’s home. She was enormously impressed by Daniel and his friend’s efforts to voluntarily help underprivileged children to have a better life and resolved to try and do as much as she could to help them on her return
The ultimate dream is to buy some land and build a boarding school with a football pitch and tennis courts and to be able to help many more children, including girls, to have a better quality of life and invest in Uganda’s next generation.
Daniel and the boys are very keen on improving the tennis facilities available. There are very few courts in Uganda, the best ones are at the Uganda Sporting Federation in Kampala, but they cost a lot to hire and are only used by children who can afford to hire and pay for coaching or those who are exceptionally talented. It is a catch 22 situation as without anywhere to play that is reasonably flat they can’t practice or get any experience.
When Denise has visited Uganda, she has taken rackets and balls to aid the tennis activity. In 2009, Africa Tennis Aid donated tennis balls and a net recieved from an appeal for her to donate to the orphanage.
Tennis in the yard at the orphanage in Kampala in 2011
Denise also gave some coaching to a couple of the boys who are keen and who already play badminton at school [they don’t all want to play football!]. These boys are now helping to show the others the basics and were delighted to have Denise helping them improve. They now have a piece of land that they are hard at work to make into a tennis court before the main summer holidays.