Dubai: In tennis, a sport in which 50 per cent of all players lose on any given day, determination is essential. On Tuesday, on Courts 5 and 6 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, a group of more than 50 children of determination took part in a customised tennis clinic put on by the CF Tennis Academy.
A host of coaches from the UAE-based academy organised tailor-made drills focusing on motor skills, motivation, and most importantly, fun. Tapping into various elements of the racquet sport, the clinic aimed to provide the children with an enjoyable experience while ensuring a sense of inclusion in relation to Dubai’s elite tennis showpiece.
The youngsters, from local schools the Al Noor Training Centre and the Manzil Centre, as well as from the not-for-profit organisation Heroes of Hope, had the opportunity to learn some of the secrets of two of the world’s top 20 Doubles players, Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs, who on Tuesday together booked a place in the quarterfinals by beating Alicja Rosolska and Ulrikke Eikeri in straight sets.
“It was great to see everyone out here and see tennis being such an inclusive sport,” said Krawczyk, the Doubles World No.13. “It’s been great to see the kids having so much fun. Hand-eye coordination is really helpful and it’s been nice to be involved in helping the kids a little.”
Providing a little inspiration to local children is one of the best things a professional tennis player can do to give back during tournament week, said Schurrs, the World No.14. “It makes me happy to see them happy,” she added. “It’s so nice to play with them. We played some rallies and coached them a little bit and you could just see the smiles on their faces.
Losauro Palencia, a sports trainer at the Al Noor Training Centre, believes the clinic was highly beneficial to the children, who were all excited to take part.
“The drills can really help the kids’ skills develop,” he said. “Not just the way they hit the ball, but also in terms of making and holding eye contact with the trainers and coaches. All these things help and, in general, it’s just been a really good initiative. All the kids enjoyed it a lot, so we hope to be able do it again next year.”