Next generation of UAE tennis talent celebrate seven months of skill-building sessions
The very best young Emirati tennis talent between the ages of 7 and 10 took to the court at Zayed Sport City, Abu Dhabi this week signifying the conclusion of the expanded Mubadala Tennis in Schools (MTiS), the community programme which has been enhancing the quality of tennis in Emirati schools for six consecutive years.
Created to ensure a legacy for the sporting youth of the UAE, previous editions had seen the annual programme run across just one school term in the lead up to the annual season-opening Mubadala World Tennis Championship. In its sixth year, Mubadala Tennis in Schools was expanded to run throughout the school year delivering even more excitement and expert training to young students across the Emirates as an after school initiative.
From October 2014 to this week, approximately 600 students from across the UAE have enjoyed development training sessions providing them with more opportunities to play and practice the tennis skills they have learned as part of the initiative. A programme which has already introduced thousands of UAE children to the sport of tennis, across 2014 and 2015 MTiS has given even more young children the opportunity to take their first swings in the sport whilst promoting a healthy lifestyle for the next generation.
The expanded event came to a celebrated finale this week at Zayed Sport City with four Emirati children competing for top places and being recognized for their efforts over the course of the season. The two young boys, Hamid Faisal and Fawaz Al Shamari, along with two young girls, Salama Mal Allah and Muza Saaed, represent the most exciting young players in the UAE who have been identified as talent for the future while enhancing their skills through the Mubadala Tennis in Schools programme.
Speaking on behalf of Mubadala, Nadine Saleh Hassan, Head of Social Development and Partnerships said:
“The expanded tournament has been a great success year, allowing young people to refine their skills over a much longer period of time, while also encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. The key is to build excitement for sport and through this extended programme of tennis we hope to have done just that. Beyond the simple message of enjoying sport we also have the added benefit of bringing through the next generation of tennis-hungry youngsters and through initiatives such as this one we hope to see even more children from the UAE competing at the highest levels of the sport.”
Speaking at the Mubadala Tennis in School Finale, 10 year old Salama Mal Allah said:
“I’ve been practicing tennis for the past two years and I absolutely love it. The fact we’ve been able to play more in school has been great for me. I just want to keep playing, competing and having fun on the court so I can improve my skills.”
Also recognized for her season-long efforts and commitment at the Mubadala Tennis in Schools finale was 10 year old Muza Saaed:
“When you really enjoy something you just want to play it all the time and that’s how I feel about tennis. It’s great to be out on the court with friends but I especially like the skills exercises we do. The last few months I’m hitting better backhand shots and also volleys. It’s great when you can really feel yourself getting better.”
Mubadala Tennis in Schools is an inspirational grassroots community initiative championed by Mubadala in order to grow the game of tennis in the UAE. It gives pupils aged 7-10 from across local schools the chance to take their first steps in the sport by introducing them to mini-tennis within physical education lessons. The program provides students and their teachers with the equipment and skills they need to nurture a life-long passion for the game from an early age, and encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.