DR. ELIZABETH (LIZ) OKONGO ODERA, CONTRIBUTOR

Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Okongo Odera , a qualified PTR Professional, Clinician and Tester, and former professional player, was Captain of the Women's Tennis Team, Kenyatta University, 1982 - 1986, and one of the top seeded ladies in tennis in Kenya, having won many national, and university awards.  A director at top sports club (Sadili Oval) in Nairobi, with experience in running training sessions, camps and tournaments.  A high performance coach, she has developed players for tours, to national team positions, WTA/ITF ranking, junior grand slams (French, US and Wimbledon) and more than 20 players into Division I College tennis scholarships.  A Head Pro at Karen Country Club (Nairobi) has experience running adult tennis leagues full junior academy programs, club programming, and national tournaments.  A member of the NCTA junior Tournament Comittee 2017 - 2019 and keynote speaker for 2017 USTA North Carolina Community Tennis Development Workshop in Greensboro, and Tennis Professional at Cary Tennis Park in 2018.  Now lives and coaches privately in Durham. 

 

Dr. Odera is a major contributor to Black tennis globally, as a successful coach, administrator and business owner, and a non-profit director.  She has risen to the height of the profession as a tennis professional and sports administrator.

 

Her extraordinary ability won national and international acclaim as demonstrated by the results from the over 16,000 Black children who have passed through her hands as a tennis coach.  To date, her influence has grown, and graduates from her tennis program are successfully playing their trade in every continent in the world, including the USA, where many of her proteges played NCAA, NAIA and JC, while others have played ITF, Junior Grand Slams and Davis Cup.  


Dr. Odera has been a High Performance Coach from 03/2002 to present (part time and seasonal).  She has mentored and developed top African juniors moving to join the ITF U18 Circuit, English juniors working to gain high school scholarships in the UK, worked players hoping to build skills to play Div I & Div II College Tennis, and break into WTA ranking tournaments.


As a Director, she organized and ran this top East African event that attracts 70 talented juniors (4-18 years) from all over Africa and the UK for an annual ten-day camp and tournament.  Ms. Odera manages a team of eight coaches, four assistant coaches, two international professionals (from USA, Europe, Japan).  Camps included accommodation, meals, medical care, life skill training, skills assessment, beginner intermediate and advanced, ability-directed coaching, and high performance.  The camp also included the Smashers Challenge Cup for the intermediate-advanced players and the East African Junior Open, for all players.  Managed upwards of $51,000 budget.

 

Dr. Odera has achieved membership in numerous associations that require outstanding achievement in the field of tennis and sports administration.  She has held multiple critical and essential roles for organizations that have distinguished reputations.

  • She is the Global Sports Alliance (GSA) Kenya Team Captain, which required that she is the premier sports administrator in Kenya.
  • Has served as the Vice Chairwoman of the Kenya Tennis Association, which meant that she was on of the premier tennis professionals in all of Kenya.
  • Has served as the PTR International Committee for Africa and the National Coordinator for the PTR in Kenya, and is certified as a PTR Professional Level 2. She used this opportunity to encourage coaches from all over Africa to get certified. She also trained as a PTR Tester so that she could cut down costs of having someone from US. This would allow for more instructors to get certified.
  • Has served as a member of the Junior Committee at the North Carolina Tennis Association in 2017 to 2019, and used the opportunity to visit CTAs and local communities to encourage more Black families to have their children participate in the junior tournaments.
  • Held the critical role as Director of award winning Sadili Oval Sports Academy, which had more than 6,000 girls and boys attend annually and has influenced more than seven million people in the East Africa community.
  • Held the critical role of National Coordinator with the PTR, overseeing all PTR operations in Kenya.
  • In 2011 Sadili Oval Sports Academy was made an honorary NJTL Chapter by the USTA in recognition of the sucessful grassroots work.
  • Captain of the Women's Tennis Team, Kenyatta University, 1983 - 1986, and one of the top seeded ladies in tennis in Kenya, having won many national, and university awards.


Dr. Odera's contribution to the field as a Black tennis professional and sports administrator by building networks across Africa, through using sport to empower the underprivileged and building the first public tennis courts in the poorest slum in Africa.  She believes passionately in breaking barriers.  Her passion helping young people of African descent, especially those who are coming from some of the poorest communities in the world in Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Burundi and Tanzania, is well known among professionals.

 



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