Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Interviewing Kenya Team Olivier Kigotho

14 year old Olivier Kigotho has made the national team, barely one year after joining Sadili Talent Training Academy in Langata, Nairobi. Olivier will be representing Kenya at the ITF/CAT U14 Circuit in Burundi and Rwanda from the 6th - 17th August 2012. I caught up with Olivier at Sadili as he stepped off the court following a tough evening training session. For a boy so young, he exuded quiet confidence and smiled a lot, so I was able to plunge quickly into my interview:

J - Why did you switch from playing basketball to playing tennis competitively?
O – Well I had initially played tennis and then started playing basketball because it was closer to home, while I was in school in the USA. Then when I came back to Kenya, I started playing tennis again, because I liked it better.

J - How does it feel to be playing for the national team?
O – It feels really good, like my hard work is playing off.

J - When you started playing tennis again was it your goal to be on the National Team?
O - Not exactly but I didn’t think that I would be on the national team so quickly.

J - Do you have any short or long term goals for tennis?
O- For the short term I want to play well for the national team, and get into my academy team too (which is actually quite hard) and just keep playing well. And long term, I guess, get a tennis scholarship for a college.

J - in the USA? Europe?
O- I'm not really sure, still thinking about it! (smile)

J- Is there any area that you feel you improved on the last year? Or things you would like to see improve?
O - Im not really sure... (shrug)

J- So your are going to Burundi and Rwanda, how do you feel about competing there?
O - Quite nervous, actually
J - About anything in particular or just in general?
O - In general, but I also know most of the players, and its going to be tough.
J - Do you have any particular goals for these competitions? Winning the whole thing? Making it to quarters?
O - Not really just play my best I guess....I just want to stay focused on that, so I train hard

J-  What does it feel like being able to travel to other countries doing something you love?
O – It feels good! I have been exposed to different kinds of places and players. I think its the most important part. I have learned a lot.
J- Which are some of the countries you have played tennis competitions in since you joined Sadili?
O - the UK, Uganda, Burundi, Rawanda, and, well Kenya...
J- Is there a country that you would love to visit for a competition?
O- Yes! Spain, I've heard it has good players and its very nice place! (laugh)

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