In 2017, “06880” highlighted Joseph Oyebog.
The former Davis Cup tennis player/Cameroon national champion/beloved local tennis coach created a tennis academy in Africa. Thousands of youngsters benefit. Twenty earned college scholarships, or obtained coaching positions in the US and Europe.
The “06880” story invited readers to help him build an actual school.
You responded immediately. Support since then has enabled the Oyebog Tennis Academy to bring electricity to the campus. That led to the purchase of a refrigerator, which in turn helps feed young players 3 meals a day.
OTA has become a national tennis center. Important tournaments are played there, raising the profile of Cameroon tennis across the continent — and the confidence, hope and opportunity of youngsters in desperate need of all.
Joseph continues to do 2 things here: teach tennis, and gather resources to support the OTA program.
Westporters have rallied around Joseph’s mission, and been an important help.
For example, Guy and Sunny Sherman are co-presidents of the OTA board. The tennis center is named Sherman Grounds in their honor.
Heidi Kness, Stephanie Lemcke, Beth Hochhauser, Monica Ryan, Oona Robinson, Chris Lebrun, Lorraine Oldale, Christina Schwerin and Claire Mason all provide invaluable assistance. So does the Staples High School boys tennis team, which packs used tennis equipment to be sent to Cameroon.
On Saturday, June 1 (7 p.m., Intensity Tennis Center, 490 Westport Ave., Norwalk), OTA celebrates its 20th anniversary with a TennisFest.
It’s a night of food, fun, tennis playing and socializing. Alexandra Stevenson, Wimbledon semifinalist and former top 20 WTA star, will play in the Pro/Pro Mixed doubles event.
And the cause is one everyone can “love.”
(Click here for tickets and more information. Hat tip: Debra Levin)