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Teacher Connects on Kenya Court

Weston tennis instructor Greg Moran has an interesting story to tell about how he spent his summer vacation. For 11 days, the director of the Four Seasons Racquet Club in Wilton taught tennis to kids in Kibera, Kenya, one of the biggest slums in the world. The kids are students at the Sadili Oval Sports Academy in Kibera, which is roughly the size of New York's Central Park and home to over 1 million people living in small huts.

Moran has taught kids from Fairfield County for 28 years as tennis director at the Wilton club. He is a 1977 graduate of Weston High School.

"There probably aren't worse conditions than in Kibera," Moran said. "No water, no electricity, no anything. On the first day my wife and I were teaching 120 kids in basically a parking garage. Some of them were in rags. But the big, enduring memory is that their focus was laser-like. They really wanted to learn."

Moran said they had very basic equipment to work with and most of the familiar green fuzz had worn off the tennis balls. Still, Moran said the kids were very enthusiastic to be working with an American instructor.

"I was teaching 15 kids at once with a ball your dog wouldn't want to play with," Moran said. "But they were incredibly appreciative and eager to hear anything we had to say."

Students at the academy, founded by former WTA tennis pro Dr. Liz Odera, learn tennis, but also get the opportunity to get a high school level education. Moran called the academy an "invaluable opportunity" for the children to get ahead. Affecting the lives of the children he taught is something he will always remember.

"Tennis has been a huge part of my life and it's great to be able to give back," Moran said. "I would love to do something like this once a year. The big kick for me was being on the court with the kids and making that connection.

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