On the golf course, twin sisters Clementina and Clecencia from Tanzania rely on hard work and determination to stay on par with their peers.
“People believe that the game of golf is for the rich only, but that is not true,” Clementina said. “We are not rich, but we are good players.”
The teenagers learned to play when their older brother worked at a golf club and asked a friend who was an instructor there if he would teach the girls. Their brother’s friend agreed to teach them, and the sisters made the most of their opportunity.
“The training was quite difficult,” Clecencia said. “Learning how to swing the club was particularly difficult.”
The sisters, now 16 years old, stayed with it and Clecencia qualified for the junior club team, while Clementina continued to work on her swing.
“I was a little sad when my sister qualified and I did not,” Clementina said. “I felt like I am not good enough. She really encouraged me and told me with time I will be just as good.”
The hard work and perseverance paid off for the sisters, who are now both on the team.
“I have gotten a trophy and a certificate for being a good player,” Clementina said. “Clecencia has been awarded several trophies for her exemplary playing skills.”
The sisters’ achievements are particularly impressive considering they’ve competed against young people with resources to develop their games.
Clementina and Clecencia are in their third year of high school. They have five siblings and live with their mother and stepfather. Both sisters are sponsored through Unbound.
Clementina is sponsored by Doug and Trish in Ohio, and Clecencia is sponsored by Jonathan in Pennsylvania. Their sponsorships help with education and other needs of the family.
Their mother, Isabela, is proud of her daughters and the strides they’ve made in golf.
“I always encourage them to do their best,” she said. “At times I feel like I am not supporting them fully because buying golf equipment is expensive and I am not in a position to do it.”
Because talent was discovered in the twins and other team members, the club offers golf equipment for them free of charge. The club is a club for the army, and the main sponsors for this club are military captains.
The twins practice on weekends and during school holidays, and tournaments are usually held on weekends. The participation and membership are free, and when the sisters win a tournament, they sometimes get awards like school supplies.
While Isabela supports her daughters’ interest in golf, she’s clear that school should be their priority.
“I remind them to strike a balance between education and playing golf,” Isabela said. “Education should always come first. The golf trainers at the club also encourage them to work hard in school.”
The girls have taken their mother’s advice to heart.
“I want to be a scientist,” Clementina said. “My favorite subjects in school are physics and chemistry.”
While Clecencia dreams of meeting pro golfer Tiger Woods someday, she has other aspirations, too.
“I want to be a pilot,” she said. “My favorite subjects are geography and mathematics.”
But she hasn’t given up on the hope that she could play golf professionally someday.
“I would like to be a female version of Tiger Woods, the world’s best golf player,” Clecencia said. “I want to become as great as he is.”
For Clementina, the athlete she admires most plays another sport.
“I look up to Serena Williams, the tennis player,” Clementina said. “I admire her strength and determination.”
For young people who want to learn a sport like golf or tennis but come from humble backgrounds, Clementina had some advice.
“I would encourage anyone who would like to learn to cultivate the interest and be determined,” she said.
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