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In the front row: Abaco Tennis Association (ATA) instructors - Roodatram Kawalram, Sweavon Smith, Cameel McDonald, and Macquel McDonald. Back row: Rory Young and Vernon “Bobby” Russell. Not pictured is female coach, Chavonne Reid, and Leo Romer, one of the male instructors.

Abaco Tennis Association Offers Free Clinics

Abaco Tennis Association (ATA) tennis clinics are in full swing every week.

Established in September 2016, Cameel McDonald, ATA president of the Abaco Tennis Association, said that there are currently 12 juniors enrolled in the free tennis clinics, which are held every Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Forest Heights Academy.

The mission of the Abaco Tennis Association is to promote and develop the growth of tennis, focusing on the establishment of competitive, developmental, educational and recreational programs for everyone, and to promote health, character, high standards of fair play, sportsmanship and social responsibility in areas designated by the Association.

On hand, there are eight tennis instructors: Vernon “Bobby” Russell, Cameel McDonald, Macquel McDonald, Rory Young, Sweavon Smith, Chavonne Reid, Leon Pinder and Roodatram Kawalram.

“Tennis junior clinics are provided every Saturday for two hours. The instructors and other adults also meet on Sundays from 3 p.m. to sun down,” McDonald explained. “We also meet on Tuesdays and Thursday weather permitting. Notices are sent via WhatsApp Abaco Tennis Association and Tennis Kids [groups].

Tennis beginners clinics include forehand and backhand technique, making contact with the ball and keeping the ball in play. Tennis drills, cardio tennis, and serve and return techniques are also taught.

McDonald said that tennis matches are held every Sunday. More advanced players are often invited to join the team on Sundays for matches. There are also “serve & return” matches for the juniors on Saturdays.

The sport is available for the entire family – children and parents alike, she added. Participants can come dressed in tennis and comfortable clothing for movement.

“Tennis can be a real workout (involves running, swinging, reaching, pivoting) and can be used to lose weight; it requires your brain to be creative, involves planning and strategy, and can also be used as a stress reliever,” McDonald expounded.

Although there is no cost associated with the tennis clinics, parents and adults are encouraged to become members of the Abaco Tennis Association for an annual membership fee of $100 ($25 if paid quarterly) per adult. If you do not have a tennis racket, the association provide one for training until participants can purchase their own.

For adults with children attending school, there are no fees for the free clinics offered on Saturdays; however, additional lessons are provided at cost.

Last year, an invitation was extended to the Abaco Tennis Association by The Abaco Club on Winding Bay for its members to have lunch and enjoy complimentary golf and tennis lessons as well as leisure time because of ATA’s positive impact and efforts.

About Canishka Alexander

Canishka Alexander was born in New Providence, but spent most of her childhood years on Abaco. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Abilene Christian University.

Although she has accomplished many things in life, her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her four children. She loves God, her country and people of all cultures.

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