Aimed at supporting access to basic services, community security and economic recovery in Libya, the European Union (EU) funded “Strengthening Local Capacities for Resilience and Recovery” project that is being implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Local Governance and the municipalities of Tripoli, Sabratha, Sebha, Murzuq, Benghazi and AlKufra.
The project is supporting local peace actions, promoting dialogue across different communities, rehabilitating critical infrastructures and supplying equipment. One of the initiatives undertaken was the renovation of four tennis courts and the provision of sport equipment at the Tennis Academy.
After this initiative, the sport institution was able to resume its activities. It opened its doors to junior and senior players, including girls and boys, men and women.
''Women in Sabratha want to play sport, including tennis, and the courts that have been renovated by UNDP with funds from the European Union have motivated them to participate in these games, '' stated Ms. Hamida Abu Algasim Ewshah, member of Sabratha Municipal Council.
Despite still facing barriers related to social norms, the rehabilitation of the four tennis courts has opened new opportunities for women to practice tennis.
“The Academy is still mainly for men, but after the rehabilitation, something has already changed. One day per week, the courts are exclusively for the use of young girls and women,” explained Hamida.
The facility is also allowing again young people from Sabratha and surroundings to socialize through tennis and forget about the crisis in the country. During summertime, the Academy organizes special sessions for junior players, girls and boys.
''It is an opportunity to attract young people and help them to focus on sport rather than staying in the streets with many risks of being involved in illegal activities, '' declared Abdulsalam.