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Vania King continues “Serving Up Hope” with youth tennis in Uganda
“Our goal is using tennis as a platform to provide opportunities on and off the court,” said the retired American doubles champion, who founded her own charity in 2019.
Published Jul 23, 2022
Retired doubles champion Vania King has made it her mission to use tennis to provide opportunities for kids from underprivileged communities—and this week, she touched down in Uganda to continue “Serving Up Hope” in the city of Kampala.
The American, who reached the world No. 3 ranking in doubles and Top 50 in singles during her glittering career, made her retirement official last year. She took the same tenacity and drive that led her to clinch two Grand Slam doubles trophies in 2010, and directed that energy toward philanthropy.
In 2019, King’s experiences led her to found “Serving Up Home” in Uganda’s capital. The organization offers a combination of tennis and S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) education, and also provides meal and tuition assistance, female mentorship and legal education.
“The kids that we work with live in a slum community—one of 11 slum communities in Kampala,” King described. “The families of these kids make less than two dollars a day, and they’re feeding on average eight people in a family. The kids eat, on average, one meal a day and have no running water or electricity. It’s really a different world.
“For them, tennis is an opportunity that they otherwise wouldn’t see. That’s our goal—using tennis as a platform to provide opportunities on and off the court.”
The organization has continued to support youth tennis in Uganda, and it has since expanded stateside with programs in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago.