Interview with Martin Rocca, founder of TennisAid
Tennis is not only about big names and big tournaments, but also about coaches and educators who work in the shadows. Martin is one of them; together with his friend Abel, he founded TennisAid, a charity whose purpose is to provide sports equipment and technical assistance to kids living in poor countries. You can find more about Martin and TennisAid’s trips to Uganda here. Thanks Martin for having been kind enough to answer our questions.
We followed your adventures in Uganda last year, are you still in contact with the kids?
Yes, we are in contact with their coaches, they are good friends and we are in constant communication to see how their work progresses and if they have any special needs to be covered.
TennisAid is also involved with another charity, Seneball can you talk a bit about that?
Seneball is a project originated in the Canary Islands by a group of coaches with experience in humanitarian work in India. The idea is to build a tennis court and a classroom in a Senegal village to provide local kids both tennis and education. They asked TennisAid to join in and we gladly accepted.
You also had a project with a refugee camp in Dunkirk
Coach Steve Verkouter from Belgium started visiting the refugee camp in Dunkirk and we contacted him, then we provided him mini-tennis rackets and soft balls and that lead to a short visit to another refugee camp in Athens this past June. A very powerful, sad and learning experience.
What’s next for TennisAid, do you have any new projects?
We just launched our website: www.tennisaid.org and that´s a huge step forward for us. We can show all of our trips, collaborations, special shipments that we send all over the world. We can also receive donations or sell our bracelets. We sold over 5000 of them already. Soon we will have new T´shirts for sale too.
How can we help TennisAid?
The best way to help us is to promote our work, buy our merchandising or make monetary donations. Locally we constantly get a lot of equipment donations and that help us a lot when it comes to travelling or shipping boxes because we don´t have to buy any material.