Kids in far districts get tennis coaching

Dozens of kids living in the outer districts are enjoying tennis coaching again this term, thanks to a donation by Cayman National Bank.

Local coaches are visiting Edna Moyle Primary in North Side and primary schools in East End, Bodden Town and West Bay’s John A. Cumber on a weekly basis.

There are usually about 15 children in a class, and coaches teach at least one class, sometimes two.

Coaching, which takes place during the school’s physical education time, is coordinated by the Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands. Play is on the schools’ hard court, with portable nets, short-handled racquets and special slow balls, making the game easy to pick up.

“Cayman National has made a major donation which will ensure there is tennis coaching at these four schools for the rest of the year,” said TFCI chief Eliza Harford.

“We are incredibly grateful to Cayman National. This will be the second year Cayman National has backed the government schools tennis program.”

Cayman National’s support means that close to 100 children whose sporting options are extremely limited, as they live too far from George Town, will get a chance to learn a new sport, Harford said. She added that the children love these lessons.

“For the sporty kids, [it’s] often their favorite lesson of the week,” Harford said. “The kids love the coaches, who are great role models, and they love the exercise, and they get a kick out of getting to grips with a new game. It just works so well.”

Coaches come from Cayman Tennis Academy, a local company headed by Noel Watkins.

Christy Braggs of Cayman National said, “Cayman National has had a long-standing relationship with the TFCI supporting what was then called the ‘Tennis Ten’s’ program from inception in 2010.

“We are so pleased to see the program grow and offer our government school kids the chance to practice a new sport right in their environment where they are comfortable and have the ability to thrive.” Simon Gunn received the donation from Braggs on behalf of the tennis federation.

Braggs said that sport in general is an excellent way to not only improve kids health and fitness, but also to teach them discipline, tenacity, socializing and leadership which are critical life skills that they hope will help shape who they become.

“To see the dedication coach Noel and others have to bettering the tennis program as well as to these kids is very heartwarming,” Braggs said.

“Cayman National is happy to be a part of a program that not only brings to light important skills but also enables kids to have fun with their peers.”