Dubai: The President of Tennis Emirates (TE) has complimented the efforts of the governing body in consolidating the base of the sport in the UAE.
Shaikh Hasher Al Maktoum, President, TE, was on Monday presented with the 2015 ITF Award for ‘Services to the Game’ in the presence of Saeed Hareb, General Secretary, Dubai Sports Council (DSC), and several members of the TE Board of Directors, including Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Sara Baker and Ahmad Abdul Malek.
Shaikh Hasher said he was pleased with the way the TE board of directors has been working behind the scenes in promoting the sport in schools and clubs across the UAE.
“For a start we have started going into schools and local clubs to get youngsters to join our grassroots programme. The idea is to ensure these youngsters get the right direction in tennis from a very early age,” Shaikh Hasher told Gulf News.
“Secondly, we have been working closely with the various academies and tennis training centres in the UAE so that we can achieve common goals of producing players for the country. It has been tough going for tennis during the past couple of years, but I am confident of a bright future with all the grassroots work that is being done,” he added.
Shaikh Hasher was particularly appreciative of the efforts put in by TE General Secretary Sara Baker, who was earlier this week elected Vice-President of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) at the AGM held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Baker is the only woman so far to be elected to the second-highest position in the ATF.
“She [Baker] fully deserves this honour for all the hard work she has put in over the past two years. This appointment is not just recognition of her work but also an example for women in Asia,” Hareb noted.
“I am sure that her election to Asia’s highest tennis body will help sustain the sport here and bring out a breed of players who will serve the national team in the long run,” he hoped.
Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Vice-President, TE, was proud to have Baker as part of the tennis governing body in the UAE. “She has contributed to the growth of tennis in the UAE, and now it is time for her to give back something to Asia. We wish her all the best,” Falaknaz said.