Pupils at East End Primary were delighted to welcome back tennis pro Noel Watkins last week, as weekly tennis lessons once more resumed at the school thanks to Cayman National’s ongoing sponsorship.
Ethana Villalobos, a prefect at the school, has been part of the Cayman National-sponsored tennis programme at East End for the past three years.
Villalobos, who celebrated her 11th birthday on Thursday, said, “Tennis is one of the best things of the week. Tennis and football are my favorite things at school.”
Coach Watkins said, “East End’s young players are carefully selected to join the Cayman National programme by three criteria: good behaviour, talent and enthusiasm.”
Players are drawn from all age groups. Each weekly lesson lasts one hour, with the youngsters using short-handled racquets, slow balls and mini nets specially designed for juniors.
“East End has a super bunch of kids, I really enjoy working with them and their tennis has come on well,” he added. “They can now serve and rally, and are having great fun with tennis while learning the necessary skills.”
Watkins is being helped this term by an assistant coach, Aine Leonard.
East End is not the only school that benefits from Cayman National’s generous sponsorship. Bodden Town, North Side and West Bay schools also get lessons which are organized through the Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands in conjunction with Watkins at Cayman Tennis Academy.
Shari Whittaker of Cayman National Bank said, “The youth of the Cayman Islands is one of the focuses of Cayman National and we recognise that participation in sports provides opportunities for leadership, socialization as well as development of skills in our youth. Cayman National is pleased to see the programme off to a great start this year.”