KAMPALA – U.S. Mission Uganda has launched the Arthur Ashe Tennis Program, which will empower Ugandan youth through the sport of tennis while also providing HIV/AIDS education.
The U.S. Mission is partnering with the Tartan Burners Athletic Club, the Uganda Tennis Association (UTA), and the Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV&AIDS (UNYPA) to implement this project.
The program will sponsor tennis clinics and HIV/AIDS education in five different locations throughout Uganda on the following dates: October 26 in Hoima, November 2 in Arua, November 3 in Gulu, November 9 in Jinja, and November 30 in Kalangala.
The program will target children aged 13-18 years
Tennis instructors organized through the UTA will teach tennis skills to the youth, Representatives from the UNYPA will hold sessions with the youth on HIV/AIDS education and Staff members from the U.S. Mission will speak about Arthur Ashe and his legacy.
Speaking at the press conference, Uganda’s Davis Cup Captain and tennis coach David Oringa said, “It’s our responsibility to motivate these youth. We have to provide more opportunities for youth in sports, and we have to give back to our communities.”
Arthur Ashe was the first (and remains the only) African-American male tennis player to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon Singles titles.
He was also the first African-American man to earn the number 1 ranking in the world. When Ashe learned that he had contracted AIDS via a blood transfusion, he became an HIV/AIDS activist, raising awareness about the disease, raising money to fight the disease, and advocating for the teaching of safe sex and sex education. Ashe died of AIDS in 1993.
On February 22, 2020, there will be a Grand Finale at the Lugogo Tennis Club in Kampala.
The event will bring in a selected group of youth from the clinics for additional skills training as well as a tournament.
The event will also feature exhibition matches among top Ugandan tennis players as well as top U.S. tennis players living in Uganda and it will fall during African American History Month, an excellent time to honor Arthur Ashe’s legacy.
This program will help advance U.S. Mission Uganda’s core goals of empowering youth and fighting HIV/AIDS.