Qatar Tennis Federation will hold a schools promotional festival during the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2013 for school children, December 31, 2012 through January 3, 2013. On December 31st, 750 boys from 15 Qatar independent schools, aged six and seven years old will be in attendance. On January 1st, the festival will be held for another 750 boys from Qatari independent schools. On January 2nd, 750 girls will participate from Qatari independent schools. On January 3rd, 14 preschools will participate, hostingfour and five year olds. Each three-hour session will last from 8am-11am and will include multiple activities – fun in the Kid’s Zone, face painting, drawing, entertainment by clowns, and plenty of tennis and fitness instruction. Healthy meals will be provided and each child will receive a gift at the end of each session. 30 coaches and 15 volunteers will also take part to make it a memorable day for all the kids.
Khaled Al Khelaifi, Qatar Tennis Federation Board Member and the Head of National Teams, is the force behind the initiatives to grow the game of tennis in Qatar, “We hold promotional festivals throughout the year in Doha and the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2013 gives us the perfect opportunity to expose youngsters to all that tennis has to offer. They can experience the fun of the game, see current stars in action and be inspired to pursue their own tennis goals.” These promotional events are held throughout the year as part of the Tennis 10s initiative – 10-and-under tennis headed by Captain Wahid to introduce children under 10 years of age to the game.
This is all in line with the strategy of the National Teams to grow and promote the game of tennis in Qatar and identify Qatari talent to take to the next level of tennis. There is a protocol agreement with local schools where National Team coaches go to these schools once a week to teach tennis. These schools are chosen by their geographic location to clubs that reintroduced tennis in September 2012. Tennis had not been in the clubs since 1992 but made a big comeback and children at the local schools have a familiarity and awareness of the sport thanks to the exposure they have received through the initiatives of the Qatar Tennis Federation. High caliber tennis players are brought up in the club system internationally and with tennis coming back to the clubs later this year, the strategy is to do the same in Doha.