Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Reigning Men's Doubles champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury joined in the fun at J.P Morgan Kids’ Day
Over 1,300 school children from local schools in the UAE took to the courts at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium today for the ATP J.P. Morgan Kids’ Day. The morning of activities included a tennis clinic led by coaches from the CF Tennis Academy, before enjoying entertainment, photo opportunities and a meet and greet with three top ATP players.
2020 Australian Open and 2019 Dubai Doubles winners Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram joined the children in the clinic and interacted with the young enthusiasts giving them a one-of-a kind opportunity to learn some basics and techniques of tennis. The children also had the chance to meet ATP ranked no.27, Pablo Carreno Busta and received some tips on how to improve their game and how to be focused while playing.
Doubles champion, Rajeev Ram was delighted to be a part of the kids day, “Yeah it’s great, we do these things at a lot of the events and its very rare that you have so many kids who are very enthusiastic, it’s a lot of fun for us to see kids play tennis, it’s just fantastic. I hope they get inspired because it sure seems like it with so many of them coming out to watch the men’s and women’s weeks.”
Joe Salisbury said: “It’s amazing to be back here, we had a great experience last year. To get involved in days like this is incredible to see how many kids are out there and how many love playing tennis. Hopefully it will inspire them to keep going and keep playing tennis after watching and interacting with top ranked players in the world.”
“J.P. Morgan is proud to sponsor the J.P. Morgan Kids Day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships,” commented Khaled Hobballah, joint-senior country officer for MENA and head of MENA Markets at J.P. Morgan. “Kids Day is a highlight for us during the tournament, as it is all about the children. It is wonderful to witness how motivated and inspired the children are by the great players who participate in Kid’s Day. Exciting events like these help to further develop the children’s love of the sport and show our commitment to the next generation of leaders in the region.”
The J.P Morgan Kids Clinic has always been a tremendous success in the history of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and a huge number of schools have been part of this special day over the years.
Barry Matthew, a P.E teacher from Gems International School said: “We brought 124 kids today for an opportunity to play with professionals, so they are all very excited to be here. Days like these are great for the ones who play the sport of tennis for sure! We did a tennis unit in our school a couple of days back, so we were able to connect it with what the kids can achieve and learn from the stars playing with them.”
A student from Gems International School said: “Yeah I love it because you can meet new people and have fun playing with each other. I don’t play tennis, I actually play football but after today, I am going to ask my mum if I can join tennis too!”
A student from Hartland international school said: “It was very fun and I had a great experience. It was also fun shouting and dancing and getting prizes when they were playing games with us! It’s very nice, I have been here two times and I like how we get to play with champions and famous stars because I only saw them on TV in the Australian Open!”
A student from Wellington International School said: “This is an amazing experience because it’s a nice chance to meet the players and appreciate the sport of tennis. My favourites are Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, so I want to be like them when I grow up!”
The children, from 33 schools then moved to Centre Court for more entertainment and a chance to experience playing on the big stage, before meeting singles player, Pablo Carreno Busta. Busta joined in the fun on court, having a hit with some of the lucky children, before hitting some autographed balls and signing some t-shirts for the excited crowd, making it an extremely memorable day for the kids.
Stephanie Cart, Raffles World Academy said: “It’s our fifth year and it is a great opportunity for our students to get to see these international stars and partake the fun activities that are provided by the Dubai Duty Free Championships. Thank you for the invite, the kids absolutely love and we are looking forward for the game this afternoon.”
Tournament Director, Salah Tahlak said: “We are always delighted to kickstart ATP week with so many kids from several schools playing and enjoying themselves on our courts. We hope that by having the opportunity to meet world-class tennis stars inspires them to get more involved in the game. We are very proud of this initiative and will undoubtedly continue this for the foreseeable future.”
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. The tournament continues until 29th February and as well as Novak Djokovic features ATP Finals winner Stefanos Tsitsipas, 2020 Rotterdam and Montpellier champion Gael Monfils and 2018 Dubai winner Roberto Bautista Agut.