David Oringa is defending champion of the Castle Lite Uganda Open that enters the second day at Kampala Club today. At 19 years, Oringa is a household name on Uganda's tennis stage. Sunday Vision's Douglas Mazune had a chat with the lanky star.
Your 2013 season starts with the Uganda Open. What are your expectations?
I started with Best of the Best Tournament where I lost to Duncan Mugabe in the final. I amd looking forward to a favourable season. After the Uganda Open, there is the Kenya Open in May. Then the East African Money Circuit and Simba Cement Tanzania Open in September. The season will end with the FUTURES between November and December. It's going to be an active year.
How will your impending programme in Spain fit into a busy season?
The training programme at Cunit Tennis Academy in Barcelona was supposed to run from February 26 to May 26. Next week, I will know whether it will be possible to start the programme on March 26. I will give the training programme priority.
How did you land the training opportunity?
Through Mr. Mpeeka Muhuma who has got me where I am now. He has also sponsored me.
Won't you miss tournaments while in Spain?
I will participate in tournaments when I am in East Africa. In Spain, I play in many international tournaments where I will correct my mistakes and develop new skills. I will come up against opponents whose job is playing tennis. I will amass points and improve my international ranking.
Do you still go to school?
I did History, Economics, Geography and Fine Art in senior six at Kololo SS. I am grateful to Uganda Christian University for having given me bursary to study Business Computing.
How do you balance academics with tennis?
It is very easy if you know how to manage time. When it's time for class, I go and attend lectures and when I am free, I practice on the tennis court.
Eventually which of the two will you pursue for a career?
I am not going to play tennis for the rest of my life. At one point, my body will get tired so I have to continue balancing tennis with the academics at least for the three years I will be at the University. I have 15 more years to play tennis so why rush into concentrating on it now?
What does it take to succeed in both academics and sports?
I will have to train for four hours daily, attend class and read at night. It is as simple as that.
Your family is not known in tennis circles, where did you come from?
I am from a family of three boys and three girls and none of my siblings has played tennis. Even my parents were not into sports. I lost my father Mr. Alfred Ogaa in 2002 when I was very young. We lived with our mother in Naguru until recently when she relocated to the village.
Naguru boys are multi-talented. Were you involved in any other sport?
I played soccer in the Kampala Kids League. I was also the opening bowler for Kololo in the 2011 Coca Cola Cricket Week which we won. I was even called up for the U-19 national team but I chose to concentrate on tennis.
Is there a chance that you might get back to cricket?
There is no chance. I was very competitive in hockey, cricket, boxing and soccer at junior level but I chose to play tennis. I play cricket once in a while for leisure, fitness and interacting with friends.