Young African Boy Realizes Tennis Dream at iTUSA

Nine year old Arnaud Sewanou began his new life at the iTUSA Training Center in Scottsdale, Arizona a few weeks ago. Sewanou, an athletic and talented young boy, already has developed his tennis skills in the poor West African country of Benin where he won the under-12 West African tennis championship. But arriving at iTUSA, Sweanou now has a chance to pursue his dream--to play on the professional tour. And he has arrived in the right place, as iTUSA is the international training center whose mission is to turn "players into champions."

Sweanou's chance to achieve what few African boys can even dream about is being sponsored by the iTUSA/Paul Segodo Africa Tennis Foundation. The foundation was started in 1995 after iTUSA's Rafael Font de Mora traveled to Africa to conduct a tennis clinic. When he arrived he could not believe what he saw: so many young talented tennis players who loved the game. They had all the athleticism and enthusiasm to become great tennis players, but lacked the basic tennis resources - shoes, rackets, facilities, and coaches. The iTUSA/Paul Segodo Foundation has dedicated its time and effort to improving the lives and futures of African children through the game of tennis.

"Very Good"

A charming and energetic youngster, Arnaud Sweanou's first words upon arriving at the iTUSA training center was "muy bueno" which means "very good" in Spanish. One of Arnaud's native languages is French, but he is already picking up Spanish from Font de Mora. He has settled into a Catholic private school with ease and this is largely due to his dynamic and charismatic personality. He will be staying at Rafael Font de Mora's home where he has his own living quarters. The plan is that he will continue to live in Scottsdale and train at iTUSA, where he hopes to become a college player and perhaps even play on the professional tour.

"Arnaud Sweanou has traveled very far to arrive here at iTUSA to pursue his dream," said iTUSA's Rafael Font de Mora. "Arnaud has everything it takes to go very far - athleticism, desire, and a great personality. It's a great pleasure and honor for iTUSA to give him this great opportunity. This is, of course, the vision of the Africa Tennis Foundation. We hope you all can come out and see Arnaud's progress as he becomes a young and accomplished man and tennis player."

Special Thanks

iTUSA would like to give a special thanks to everyone at Saint Daniel The Prophet School where Arnaud will be attending, and especially to Father McGuire and Principle Mrs. Rita Standerfer, for helping Arnaud's dream become a reality. This opportunity could not have been possible without the great effort put forth by Paulin de Paolo Ahandin (iTUSA representative in West Africa) who has help Arnaud take the first step toward accomplishing his dream.

The iTUSA/Paul Segodo Africa Tennis Foundation

Click here to view a special video and to learn how you can help the Foundation.