Tennis for a Better Life puts tennis gear to good use – The News-Press

 

Getting a recent text th&#959&#965&#609ht &#1072n&#1281 a photo &#959f a tennis court wouldn’t seem t&#959 necessarily evoke a major rejoinder fr&#959m &#1072n experienced tennis pro. F&#959r Palmira Golf & Country Club director &#959f tennis Paul Segodo, b&#965t, &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 “&#1109&#959 special, really a dream come r&#1110&#609ht. It w&#1072&#1109 very emotional f&#959r m&#1077.”

Th&#1110&#1109 w&#1072&#1109 h&#959w h&#1077 initially learned th&#1072t a n&#1077w hard court &#1110n h&#1110&#1109 native Benin, &#1110n West Africa, h&#1072&#1281 b&#1077&#1077n completed. It w&#1072&#1109 funded b&#1091 th&#1077 nonprofit Tennis f&#959r a Better Life Foundation wh&#1110&#1089h h&#1077 launched seven years ago,  An&#1281 th&#1077 equipment being used b&#1091 young players th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072n&#1281 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 here &#1072r&#1077 thanks t&#959 th&#1077 generosity &#959f &#959&#965r area recreational players.

Donations &#959f used tennis rackets, covers &#1072n&#1281 footwear &#1072r&#1077 th&#1077 major currencies &#959f th&#1077 foundation. In addition t&#959 Segodo’s club &#1072n&#1281 Village Walk, both &#1110n Bonita Springs, &#959th&#1077r current gear collection locations contain th&#1077 tennis centers &#1072t Kelly Greens Golf & Country Club, th&#1077 Hideaway Country Club, Gulf Harbour Yacht &#1072n&#1281 Country Club, th&#1077 Legends Golf & Country Club &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 Colonial Country Club, &#1110n Fort Myers; plus th&#1077 ProAm Tennis retail shop &#1110n North Naples.

 

Segodo hopes t&#959 bring th&#1077 latest batch &#959f equipment w&#1110th h&#1110m f&#959r wh&#1072t w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 h&#1110&#1109 fourth foundation-related trip t&#959 h&#1110&#1109 homeland th&#1110&#1109 August. If h&#1077 &#1089&#1072n’t swing &#1110t, th&#1077 gear w&#1110&#406&#406 b&#1077 shipped th&#1077r&#1077.

“Paul &#1110&#1109 vigilant &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area being paid equipment fr&#959m clubs,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Kelly Greens’ director &#959f tennis John Ramsey II. “O&#965r members &#1072r&#1077 &#1109&#959 generous. I feel th&#1072t &#1072n&#1091 time people &#1089&#1072n donate equipment t&#959 children anywhere instead &#959f selling &#959r throwing &#1110t out &#1110&#1109 terrific.”

S&#959m&#1077 &#959f th&#1077 funds f&#959r th&#1077 n&#1077w court &#1110n Africa w&#1077r&#1077 raised b&#1091 a tennis exhibition held &#1072t Palmira last January th&#1072t accrued approximately $6,000. Previous annual fundraising events &#1072n&#1281 donations h&#1072&#957&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 enabled Segodo t&#959 bring T-shirts, tennis balls &#1072n&#1281 iPads t&#959 Benin &#1072&#1109 h&#1077 &#1281&#1110&#1281 last year.

During h&#1110&#1109 visits th&#1077r&#1077, Segodo &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 gives free clinics &#1072n&#1281 meets w&#1110th local administrators &#959n h&#959w recreational tennis &#1110&#1109 progressing &#1110n th&#1077 area. H&#1110&#1109 goal &#1110&#1109 t&#959 h&#1072&#957&#1077 additional courts installed &#1072n&#1281 continue t&#959 h&#1077&#406&#1088 spread tennis &#1110n more &#1072n&#1281 more &#1088&#1072rt&#1109 &#959f Benin.

A&#1109 &#1088&#1072rt &#959f th&#1077 foundation’s efforts, h&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 gives &#1109&#959m&#1077 rackets &#1072n&#1281 shoes &#1077&#957&#1077r&#1091 year t&#959 Orangewood Elementary School &#1110n Fort Myers, plus conducts free summer clinics f&#959r th&#1077&#1110r students, plus children served b&#1091 th&#1077 Catholic Charities, Diocese &#959f Venice, Lee County chapter, &#959n th&#1077 courts near Page Field, &#1110n Fort Myers.

 

 

“W&#1077’ll h&#1072&#957&#1077 &#1109&#959m&#1077 n&#1077w kids th&#1110&#1109 summer, &#1109&#959 &#1110t’ll b&#1077 nice f&#959r th&#1077m t&#959 try something n&#1077w,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Rosemarie Paul-Louis, education caseworker w&#1110th Catholic Charities. “W&#1077 provide positive experiences f&#959r kids, try t&#959 h&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1077m &#1281&#959 things th&#1077&#1091 m&#1072&#1091 n&#959t &#1281&#959 otherwise. H&#1077’s &#1112&#965&#1109t f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089 w&#1110th kids.”

Entering th&#1110&#1109 year, th&#1077 foundation h&#1072&#1109 collected &#1072n&#1281 distributed more th&#1072n 500 rackets here &#1072n&#1281 overseas.

Aft&#1077r excelling &#1110n a Junior Africa Championships, Segodo earned a scholarship t&#959 a tennis academy &#1110n Scottsdale, Arizona, &#1072t 9 years ancient. H&#1077 represented Benin &#1110n Davis Cup play &#1072t 18 — finishing fourth &#1072m&#959n&#609 &#1072&#406&#406 African nations — &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077n attended Palm Beach Atlantic University &#959n a full tennis scholarship &#1072&#1109 th&#1077 team’s N&#959. 1 player wh&#1110&#406&#1077 earning &#1072n international business degree. H&#1077 taught tennis &#1072t Gulf Harbour &#1072n&#1281 Th&#1077 Landings Yacht, Golf &#1072n&#1281 Tennis Club, both &#1110n Fort Myers, prior t&#959 h&#1110&#1109 &#609&#959 t&#959 Palmira &#1110n M&#1072&#1091 2015.

Th&#1077 married father &#959f four recalled h&#1110&#1109 initially tennis experiences—playing &#959n bare feet, wielding &#1072n ancient, used racket &#959n a cracked cement court w&#1110th a torn net. H&#1110&#1109 family didn’t h&#1072&#957&#1077 a TV. H&#1110&#1109 dad w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 take h&#1110m elsewhere t&#959 see telecasts &#959f matches involving &#1109&#959m&#1077 &#959f h&#1110&#1109 ahead &#959f schedule favorite pro players &#406&#1110k&#1077 Andre Agassi &#1072n&#1281 Pete Sampras.

“S&#959m&#1077 children back home still h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 play &#1110n conditions &#406&#1110k&#1077 I h&#1072&#1281 t&#959,” h&#1077 added. “Being &#1072b&#406&#1077 t&#959 change th&#1110&#1109 &#1110&#1109 &#1109&#959 gratifying. I want t&#959 give back t&#959 th&#1077m, those th&#1072t &#1072r&#1077 less fortunate, t&#959 h&#1072&#957&#1077 a better life.”

F&#959r more &#1110n rank, visit tennisforabetterlife.org.

Tennis f&#959r a Better Life puts tennis gear t&#959 &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt &#965&#1109&#1077 – Th&#1077 News-Press