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ZENIECE

First interaction with Badu

Aged 11, 2009

School

Bridge Academy, Hackney

Background

Zeniece met Nana and the BADU team when she was in secondary school. Following this early interaction, she began to play Handball for the Hackney London Youth Games. This was the catalyst for the relationship Zeniece has with BADU now.

Before coming to BADU, Zeniece started playing sports at a very early age. She started taking part in karate with older siblings where she reached black belt level. After stopping karate, she began to play tennis at Clissold Park in Hackney. Competing in local tournaments, regional tournaments, she then played nationally and internationally travelling in places such as Spain and Peru competing against women all over the world. Zeniece also represented England at the under 14’s national Wimbledon tournament at 12 years old.

Results & Progress

After spending two years in the United States studying and playing tennis, Zeniece 21 is now back in the UK undertaking her undergraduate degree in Sports therapy at the University of East London, where she is also a recipient of a tennis scholarship.

Even with all of these successes and commitments, Zeniece is still an integral part of the BADU team. She is currently the head of 'women in sports' programme and head of tennis for BADU. She is managing key projects as well as setting up new opportunities for young people to access sport. Zeniece is a testament to the work we have done and are still doing, her future is most definitely a promising one.

“Before meeting Mr Badu in secondary school, I would say I was strong in individual sport which is why I think I did well as a tennis player. However, I wasn’t as confident in team sport, which looking back now probably affected my team skills in other aspects of life. Mr Badu helped change this by selecting me to play in the London Youth Games Handball team representing Hackney. I remember being really reluctant to play because of my lack of confidence, but the BADU coaches really motivated me to compete and instilled confidence in me that hasn’t left. After that I began working with the organisation in admin, then transitioning to coaching in camps and clubs. Now, at 21 I work full time as the Head of Women in Sport with BADU. I’m fortunate to be able to grow the way I have, meet the people I’ve met and have experiences I wouldn’t have anywhere else.”