1 March 2017 – DUBAI, UAE: Over 80 children enjoyed an exciting morning on the tennis courts at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this morning as they participated in the Dubai Duty Free Special Needs Clinic. Children from Dubai Autism Center, Dubai Center for Special Needs, Al Noor Training Centre and Manzil Special Needs School Sharjah enjoyed tennis lessons and received a special visit from ATP players, Daniel Nestor, Edouard Roger-Vasselin and UAE number one Omar Alawadhi.
The Special Needs Clinic is specifically designed to offer a fun and complete tennis experience for children with special needs, and Alawadhi, who made his 13th appearance in the tournament this year, was pleased to be involved.
"I am delighted to be at the clinic, it's always nice to share some moments with these kids, it’s very inspiring. It’s very important to do clinics like this and I always aim to take part, it's difficult to explain but you feel like you need to give something back and I feel I did that today. Some of the kids were very good, it’s good to see that kind of level and the most important thing for them is to enjoy themselves” said Alawadhi.
Christophe Vernis, Coach, Clark Francis Academy said: "We have some amazing kids here with us today, it’s such a great experience for these kids, just to see them happy makes it all worthwhile."
Stephen Melia, Coach, Clark Francis Academy said: "You can see the love of learning on their faces. We get great feedback from the parents and teachers and they really look forward to his event."
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, said: "This is our opportunity to give back to the community and every year we aim to provide a unique experience for these children. We are delighted with the turnout again and we hope we have offered an experience they will always remember."
Play continues until 4th March and includes Wimbledon, Olympic and ATP Finals champion and world number one Andy Murray, Australian Open champion and seven-time Dubai winner Roger Federer, two-time Dubai finalist Tomas Berdych and the entertaining Gael Monfils.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.