What you need to know:
- She has also been supported by Kenya Airways, who flew her on first class from London to Kenya after the historic win at Wimbledon, where she partnered Rose Marie Nijkamp from the Netherlands.
- Former Kenya Open and Africa Under-18 champion Okutoyi is currently ranked 61st on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior rankings and first in Kenya and Africa.
Tennis stars Angella Okutoyi and Roselida Asumwa are now members of the No.1 ranking country club in East and Central Africa, Karen Country Club.
The twins were on Wednesday each awarded three-year membership worth Sh1,660,000 in recognition of their achievements in the sport.
To join the club, an individual pays Sh650,000 plus an annual subscription of Sh120,000.
Karen Country Club General Manager Robert Onyango said that the two will also get Sh5,000 each for their food and drinks whenever at the facility which has in excess of 6,000 golfing and social members.
The club's tennis coaches will also have a chance to interact with the girls’ coach and benefit from lessons to help them improve their coaching skills as well. Okutoyi and Asumwa will also hold clinics and coach kids tennis.
On her part, US Open-bound Okutoyi said she felt good getting such recognition.
“It’s a good opportunity for us because we can now access the gym and tennis courts as much as possible. I’m delighted because this is actually the first time to have a membership card in a club I haven’t been practicing a lot which is a good thing,” said Wimbledon Doubles champion.
Okutoyi is expected to fly to Canada on August 22 for the National Bank International Junior Tennis Championships in Repentigny slated for August 28 to September 3 before heading to New York for the US Open Junior Championships.
The membership grants them full access to all the facilities at the Karen Country Club including, but not limited to tennis courts, the gymnasium, swimming pool and walking range, among others.
Others who attended the award ceremony are the Club chairman Allan Wainaina, who presented the certificates and cards to the twins, Director Muema Muindi, tennis committee member Nicky Lynskey and sports manager Kjellan Awuor.
The girls were joined at the ceremony by their grandmother Mary Omukuya Ndong’a and their uncle Allan Atola.
Tennis Kenya was represented by Secretary General Wanjiru Mbugua-Karani.
“I was offered membership at Karen Country Club, Parklands Sports Club and Nairobi Club, while I was a junior tennis player, but declined. Later on, I came to regret after the opportunity passed because such membership is normally given to juniors. I’m happy that Okutoyi and Asumwa have accepted this membership,” said Wanjiru.
Wanjiru also disclosed that Tennis Kenya was in talks with Karen Country Club to see the possibility of hosting an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Women's World Tennis Tour.
Karen Country Club boasts of an 18-hole golf course, a world class bowling green, seven tennis courts, a large gym, a cycling club, a hiking club, music school, dining restaurants, bars, the Residences comprising cottages and apartments, meeting and conferencing facilities.
Last month, Okutoyi was awarded membership by Serena Hotels-Africa on July 19. The gift voucher from Serena Hotels-Africa entitles her to a year membership at the prestigious Maisha Health and Spa at Nairobi Serena Hotel.
Just one day later, Okutoyi was offered financial support worth Sh500,000 from software company VasPro to boost her tennis career and fly the Kenyan flag high.
She has also been supported by Kenya Airways, who flew her on first class from London to Kenya after the historic win at Wimbledon, where she partnered Rose Marie Nijkamp from the Netherlands.
Okutoyi is currently ranked 61st in the ITF junior rankings and first in Kenya and Africa.
Asumwa occupies position 2,043 on ITF rankings and fifth nationally. Okutoyi has a career-high of 1,501 in WTA Ranking.
She has competed in 15 tournaments this year, including the Australian Open Juniors in Melbourne, Roland Garros Juniors in France and most recently, Junior Championships at Wimbledon.