ATA Success Story: Francisca Nyarko
Francisca Nyarko was just a very small and tiny 10-years old when volunteers from UK gap year organisation Sporting Opportunities went to help Head Coach Noah Bagerbaseh provide tennis equipment and training sessions for promising Junior talent at the National Sports College, Ghana. Francisca stood out in the sessions for her enthusiasm and tenacity for the game growing for girls in Ghana.
''I started playing tennis at the age of 7 but was active at the National Sports College in Winneba at 9. Coach Noah was my first coach and I still consider him my coach when I go back to visit. I fell in love with tennis from the very first day I saw the Winneba courts and I played in the tournament organised by the volunteers as it was my first tournament and won the new racket.''.
Years of dedicated practice that followed from yearly donations of tennis equipment and balls to the sports college, Francisca got a full tennis scholarship in the USA through the Donker Tennis Foundation after they were looking for a promising girl player from Winneba. It would change her life. She enrolled into the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell to study Nursing and play for the NMMI Bronco Women's Team, an opportunity that saw her travelling and competing in different states of the USA.
She goes on to say how Africa Tennis Aid donations over the years had helped her develop her tennis for greater opportunities.
''Tennis donations helped me because I needed new equipment at that moment. I used the racket to win alot of matches. I remember my brother grew up to use the same racket.''
Francisca's tennis dreams didn't stop there -- upon graduating from NMMI, she was granted another full tennis scholarship to continue her education at Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas to major in Hospitality Management and Minoring in Sports Management.
Now 22, and a blossoming young woman, Francisca is currently in her final semester of the college tennis season but has big ambitions to spread her love of the game in the future.
''I want to work in one of the tennis academies after school and hopefully get the resources to build a tennis academy and a home school here in the USA or UK''.
We wish her the very best and is living proof how kind sports donations can help those disadvantaged by their circumstances to develop their grassroot talents to change their life.
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