Dubai: A group of more than 80 children of determination from local schools and non-profit organisations took part in a special coaching clinic featuring two leading players from the ATP Tour and led by coaches of the CF Tennis Academy during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday.
The morning featured a range of activities and entertainment, including a special arrival from Ace and Annette — the Dubai Duty Free Official Mascots. The children who took part in the clinic were each given a fully inclusive session from CF Training Academy coaches, who took them through a range of drills to improve motor skills and improve coordination.
Children from Heroes of Hope, Manzil Centre, Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities, Rashid Centre for People of Determination, and Dubai Centre for Special Needs were joined by Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop, who won the doubles title at last year’s Rotterdam Open.
See them smile
“It was great to see the kids today and watch them smiling and see how happy they are — they are a great example to us all,” said Middelkoop, the doubles world No 18. “They brought such good energy and positivity, which is very important for us all to have in life.”
Providing a platform
Haase, an ambassador for a Dutch organisation for disadvantaged children, added: “They are so grateful and so happy. Some of them may have never picked up a racquet before and it’s amazing to see their reaction when they get to hit the ball.”
Hollie Murphy, the founder of Heroes of Hope, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing a platform for people of determination of all ages and abilities to participate in sport, discussed some of the benefits and rewards of such a clinic.
“It’s not often there are special needs sporting events,” she said. “It gave the children a unique experience to step onto a real-life tennis court and work with professional coaches, as well as bringing the community together. It was also great for parents to watch their kids being accepted into something such as the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which brings them all a lot of hope and happiness.”