Kenya’s Lawrence Karanja garners wheelchair tennis COY honor

ITF recognises Karanja for his support and development of the sport in Africa. 04 May 2015
Lawrence Karanja

Lawrence Karanja with Kenya's teams at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup African Qualification

By International Tennis Federation

For his major contributions to the development and support of wheelchair tennis in his home country, as well as other nations in Africa, Kenya’s Lawrence Karanja was tabbed the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Wheelchair Tennis Coach of the Year for 2014.

Karanja pioneered the Mombasa wheelchair tennis programme that has grown significantly and now provides regular wheelchair tennis activity in Kenya’s Mombasa region.

He set up and gained sponsorships necessary to sustain the programme, which provides regular coaching and competition for players in the region. In a two-year span, some of the players have gone on to compete in Kenya’s National Championships, with four of the Mombasa players having gone on to play for Kenya in BNP Paribas World Team Cup competition.

In 2014, Karanja captained Kenya’s women’s team that won the BNP Paribas World Team Cup African Qualification and earned a place in the women’s World Group for the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in the Netherlands.

This year, he also captained Kenya’s men's team that won two ties and finished third overall in the BNP Paribas World Team Cup African Qualification. This is the first time they have finished in the top three in the event.

Additionally, Karanja organised a tournament in Kenya between Kenyan and Tanzanian players last year as part of fostering relations with the wheelchair tennis section at the Tanzania Tennis Association wheelchair section.

On top of that, he was instrumental in organising a Kenyan wheelchair team to travel to Tanzania for another tournament.

Karanja has supported Rwanda to establish a wheelchair tennis programme, and it’s come to bear fruit. In April, Rwanda’s newly appointed wheelchair tennis coach will spend two weeks in Kenya with Karanja to learn how to coach wheelchair tennis.

Read more at the ITF’s website.