Youngsters to get centre court experience in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI — Eight talented young tennis players — Amaar Lila, Khaled Omar, Manar Tahtan, George Kemkers, Amaar Lila, Faisal Qubbaj, Alexandre Gay , Christopher Stamp and Jo Vanden Aweele — have been given the opportunity of a lifetime after being selected to star on centre court and follow in the footsteps of legends at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which will be held from December 30 to January 1 at Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi.

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Published: Mon 29 Nov 2010, 12:27 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 9:12 AM

The promising youngsters earned the unique chance to take part in a mini-tennis play-off in front of the packed championship stadium by showcasing their newfound tennis skills at the Mubadala Tennis in Schools Skills Competition held this weekend.

Fifty juniors were chosen by leading coaches to take part in the competition from hundreds of school children recently introduced to tennis across twenty-five schools in the emirates through the Mubadala Tennis in Schools Program, an inspirational community initiative presented by Flash Entertainment and managed by IMG.

John Lickrish, Managing Director of tournament organizers Flash Entertainment, said: “The skills on show today from all the children prove the championship through the Mubadala Tennis in Schools Program has inspired a new generation of UAE youngsters to play tennis, have fun and stay healthy. To think some of these juniors will have gone from never holding a racket to following some of the best player in the world on to centre court captures perfectly the lasting legacy the championship was set up to fulfill.”

Developed as part of Mubadala World Tennis Championship’s commitment to grow tennis at the grassroots level, the schools program has proved to be a tremendous success in the build-up to the three-day tournament taking tennis to many children who would not otherwise have the chance to play.

The programme started in October and saw local tennis coaches visiting schools across Abu Dhabi offering invaluable player tips, advice on healthy living and distributing free Wilson mini-tennis kits and tennis equipment. Following the initial coach visits to the schools, two children per school were selected to take part in skills competition.

Lila is thrilled with the opportunity to be at the world championship. “I had loads of fun today and now I can look forward to the championship in December. I can’t believe I’m actually going to play on centre court like a real tennis star. I’m so excited,” the youngster said.

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship is a three-day tournament featuring six of the world’s top male tennis players. Now in its third year, the event aims to raise awareness of the benefits of tennis and the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle, whilst also leaving a legacy for the community beyond the tournament.

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