Sierra Leone School Tennis Appeal
Earlier in 2008, Africa Tennis Aid collaborated with Italian Charity Tennis For Africa to aid the tennis activity at a Secondary School in Bo, Sierra Leone.
ATA appealed for rackets and balls and recieved kind donations from Sutton Tennis Academy, Dulwich Tennis Club in London, Surbiton Racket and Fitness Club and even five tennis nets from Purley Sports Club! The donations were then shipped with the assistance of company Robert Claire & Co. Ltd to 'Christ The King College (CKC)'- a secondary school in Bo, Sierra Leone to re-establish the tennis activities in the school which has suffered horrendous hardships due to the past history of the country.
Happy pupils and staff with the tennis donations
CKC has been no exception to the unfortunate outcome of the war. The poor economic situation and the war has affected development and repairs to the infrastructure of the school, resulting in a shortage of classroom space to accommodate increased numbers of pupils. The walls and roofs of the school building are riddled with bullets holes and conditions become appalling, especially when it rains. Sports and games facilities have been reduced to zero, which gives reason for the school to be very grateful for donations and help.
Christ The King Secondary School in Bo, Sierra Leone - and the tennis courts....mmmmm well the posts at least!
Members of the schools UK charity branch 'COBA UK' believe that tennis facilities in the school will encourage pupils to learn and enjoy the game as well as develop their talent in the sport. Tennis games are interesting and attractive, and will stimulate and attract pupils to an educational establishment away from the street culture.
Tennis Court Appeal
Unfortunately, the school has not been able to refurbish the tennis courts which had been vandalised during the war years, laying overgrown and flooded with muddy waters during the tropical rains for over ten years. CKC once had show piece tennis courts in Bo, which were designed by Fr. Lambe and opened by the Prime Minister Sir Albert Margai in 1963.
Recent pictures of the courts after they have cleared the mud and silt away from the surface shows they look cracked and disfigured, yet still show some of the lines on the tarmac. People are showing interest in the work and COBA UK are at the stage of setting out the parameters of the contract to rebuild the courts. In April 2011, school representatives received a quotation for the reconstruction of the tennis courts of £21,000 (£21K), but have resolved to breaking the project into bits at a time, so that they could get things moving. They plan to make drainage gutters round the courts so that in future all excess water and silts will be drained away to leave the surface without any sediments. They could then get the pupils to use the court with the equipment that has already been donated to them.
In Summer 2009, ATA and Tennis For Africa conducted an online auction for a signed Tennis Racket and dress donated by Serbian Tennis Pro Ana Ivanovic raising 1032,49 EURO (£800.00) aswell as signed tennis memoribilia from Andre Agassi and Tim Henman making a total of £1,000 towards rebuilding the tennis courts at the school.
In 2013, Prizes from Wilson and Roger Federer were used for the Tennis For Africa Day with the proceeds going towards the schools target.
Christ The King College representative Anthony Sheriff, December 2009
'There are plans to start work on the Tennis Courts, but now there are enough materials and equipment donations in the school to start some tennis activities. I am aware that some of the tennis balls are being used to play 'Hand Tennis', which was a popular game even at the time of my days in the school.
Hand Tennis is like Lawn Tennis, except that it is played using the bare hands instead of a tennis racquet.
The lines for the play area are the same as for a singles tennis game. The method and rules of serving are
the same. The game was improvised at that time because there were not enough racquets and court space
for all tennis enthusiasts to play. Hand Tennis can be played in the corridors or along the avenue of the school
compound. All it takes is a piece of white chalk to mark the lines on the tarmac, using a double line to represent
the net area. I am hopeful to hear from the ITF through the Sierra Leone Tennis Federation (SLTF) chairman
regarding the planned refurbishment of the courts in CKC. The work can only be started when we are sure there
are enough funds to at least do the re-surfacing - we have not used any money from the Ebay sales of the tennis
memorabila as of yet, it is safe in the bank and will only use it for work or materials for the courts.
Once more, I thank everyone very much for helping us to make a difference to the lives of the pupils in our school'
These Tennis Courts can be rebuilt with your help! If you would like to make any donation to the school to reach their target of £21,000 please push the button!!
One Step Closer to £21,000 target!
Don't forget GIft Aid and to write Tennis Court Donation!
Contact the School
If you'd like to know more about CKC Tennis Court Project and would like to help, please drop a message to the COBA UK Projects Committee using this form
You can also visit their website for more details