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Dubai Duty Free Tennis: Fun at special needs clinic

By Staff

Over 130 children were treated to an exciting day at the tennis on Wednesday, as they participated in the Dubai Duty Free Special Needs Tennis Clinic. The clinic served up lessons, lunch, and a visit from ATP player Jeremy Chardy for children from Al Noor, Dubai Centre for Special Needs, Rashid Pediatric Centre, the Dubai Autism Centre

The DDF Special Needs Clinic is specifically designed to offer a fun tennis experience for children with special needs, and they were delighted to be joined by Chardy, who took to the court to lend a helping hand. Chardy shared tennis tips and plenty of high-fives with the children, saying “It was really nice to play with these kids this morning. I hope they enjoyed it. It was a really nice atmosphere. To share with them is important and to see them smile was lovely. When you see them smile I am very happy.”

At lunch doubles players Dominic Inglot and Robert Lindstedt joined the kids on the lawns for a photograph session and a chat. Tournament mascots Ace and Annette also joined in Ikram Ulhassan, a teacher from Al Noor said “The kids enjoyed it very much and they improved their skills, they are already asking about next year!”

Johann Mendes, aged 18, of Dubai Center for Special Needs said “I had a great day today and coming to the tennis. This is my 11th year coming. I love that I get the opportunity to play with these coaches and players. It keeps myself very active and strong. I feel like a tennis player now. I would like to thank the DDF Tennis Championships for giving us the opportunity to play tennis with you guys. It was a great day.”

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, said “It is wonderful to see these children enjoying the tennis and being part of the tournament. They have many challenges in life and it is great to see them having such a lovely time”.

Tournament Director, Salah Tahlak was delighted to see so many children enjoying the day.

“Tennis is a sport that everyone can enjoy and we are happy to be able to offer this opportunity to be involved in the tournament to these wonderful young people. It is great to The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships ATP tournament continues this week, with the finals on Saturday 28th February. The tournament stars defending champion and world number two Roger Federer, world number one and Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic, Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray and two time Dubai finalist Tomas Berdych.

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.