Dubai: Hundreds of schoolchildren from across the UAE took to the court on Monday at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium to help usher in this year’s tournament. More than 750 children from 15 schools in the emirate participated in the kids’ day, which included entertainment, prizes and a tennis clinic for all ages and skill levels.
Held under the instruction of tennis coaches from the Clark Francis Tennis Academy, the hour-long clinic gave youngsters an opportunity to interact with top WTA players, all while having fun and learning more about the sport. Clark Francis said: “The aim of the day is to develop kids from as young as four years old, right through to the professional ranks. It was a great turnout and a wonderful day.”
With the students’ ages ranging from seven to 15, the coaches provided lessons and entertainment. After an on-court lesson, teenagers from The Dubai Indian School were asked what they liked best about kids’ day. “The tennis and the dancing,” said 13-year-old student Sanjana. “The entire court’s seating area erupted with cheers as all the schools participated in dancing to the popular ‘Gangnam Style’ song in the stands.”
The music and clinic was a big hit with both teachers and students alike. Chanelle Black, a teacher at Raffles International School, said afterwards: “It’s great to bring the kids; it’s great to see them having fun and the event gets better very year.”
Helping to give away the prizes that the kids won were doubles players Katalin Marosi and Darija Jurak. Both players agreed that the day was great fun, with Marosi adding: “It’s always great to come back here to Dubai and have fun in this great weather.” The two players also joined the court to play a doubles game with two students of the Clark Francis Tennis Academy.
Tournament Director, Salah Talak was on hand to witness the clinic and meet some of the participants. “The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is not just for the elite players. It is great to see so many kids on the court and having so much fun,” he said.