Traditionally, school field trips are pretty dull; a museum, historical site or botanical gardens are the norm.
Well 40-odd children from the Grace Christian Academy in West Bay had a much more memorable trip when they had a coaching session at the Ritz-Carlton tennis court on the new bypass.
It was the brainwave of Jennifer Batson, a teacher and dean at the senior school who is also a tennis nut. They were split into three groups; Iguanas, Turtles and Stingrays for the two-hour session with Ritz-Carlton pro Thomas Neuert. Snacks of pizza and sodas were part of the experience.
Batson was not surprised that the kids enjoyed such an unorthodox field trip. ‘The students love being active and enjoy their PE time. We do have strong academics at Grace therefore we wanted an extra PE time for the students, so we teamed together with Ritz-Carlton to provide a memorable field trip for them. They absolutely enjoyed it. They don’t want to get back on the bus. They loved their pizza, fries, water and sodas and definitely the tennis. Some of them are already tennis players and even they got something out of the field trip today.’
Neuert thoroughly enjoyed the inter-action. ‘That was an unbelievable session. It was the first time we’d had a school party here and we’re hoping to do that for many other schools maybe next year because we’re getting into the real busy season. I think they were very excited, a fun field trip, playing tennis and eating pizza. They were well organised, it was nice to work with them. A great experience, I hope we do it many more times.
‘We now want to promote our after school programme which starts on 14 January, an eight week session, two classes a week, Monday and Wednesday for the seven to 10-year-olds and Tuesday and Thursday for the 11 to 14-year-olds from 4pm to 5.30pm. It’s a total of 16 classes for a total of CI$575.’