The Netherlands

Sylvia's Story December 2017

In 1990 Sylvia ’s parents moved from Nigeria to Amsterdam, Netherlands in search for a better life. They settled in the Reigersbos area of Amsterdam where Sylvia was born in 2000. Until then the only tie the Okafor family had with tennis was an occasional glimpse on television.  

Then one summer afternoon they met a neighbour who started the present streettennis project on the nearby playground.  The neighbour invited father Okafor to bring his girl to find out if she would enjoy the game of tennis. Very soon it became a weekly sports activity for the 5-year old Sylvia. After a short while it became very clear that Sylvia had a special talent for tennis. Her participation in the streettennis project increased from 1 to 3 times playing tennis per week. At the age of 8 years she had to move on to a professional tennis academy to further improve her tennis skills.

During the years the training hours increased and Sylvia became a promising junior in the Netherlands in the different age groups; at the same time her parents saw to it that tennis made her happy and that her enthusiasm stayed high. The training sessions and the matches enlarged her confidence and mental strength. Combining tennis and school meant also for her: discipline and responsibility.

     

Playing tournaments all over the Netherlands and after a while also in a few European cities broadened her horizons in general. Through the tennis career of his daughter, father Okafor also got more and more involved in tennis and is now already for many years a highly respected volunteer trainer in our streettennis project. 

In october this year father and daughter traveled back to Nigeria, where the now 17-years old Sylvia played her first international ITF-tournament.

Time will tell how far her tennis dream- that started in our streettennis project - will bring her!

IC Philanthropy

  • Building self confidence
  • Team work
  • Teaching respect
  • Benefits of good nutrition
  • Working with goals and within the rules

IC Philanthropy currently has a portfolio of 12 programmes and start-ups taking place across the world.

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