21 February 2019

Kenya: Teen Lands Tennis Scholarship to Barcelona Academy

Photo: Daily Nation
Phineas Kiarie when he visited Nation Centre on February 20, 2019.

19-year-old Phineas Kiarie is an excited lad after landing a year-long scholarship to train and play at the Barcelona Tennis Academy in Spain.

The teenager, who has won various local championships, believes that this scholarship opportunity will play an integral part in his quest to turn professional.

"This is what I have always wished for," said Kiarie who is set to leave the country for Barcelona on March 10.

"An opportunity to train and play professionally at the highest level. To play all the time, and make a living for the game."

Kiarie started playing lawn tennis at Anointed High School and Moi Forces Academy and emerged third in 2017 National School Games in Eldoret.

According to the scholarship terms, Kiarie will be fully accommodated, offered meals, transport, medical insurance, full membership at the academy as well as a chance to compete in local tournaments.

Should he impress further, the youngster who mentions Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama and tennis star Serena Williams as his role models, will be offered a two-year professional contract to compete in European competitions.

"I met Wanyama during one of my training sessions and he asked me to believe in myself. I am hoping to win a major European title and bring Kenya to the tennis map. There aren't many training facilities in Nairobi and the ones available are quite expensive. I hope our government can change that."

Kiarie currently trains twice a day at the Nairobi club under the watchful eye of Spanish coach/player and mentor Raphael Manuel.

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