International law firm, Walkers, has again generously stepped up to support youngsters on Cayman Brac by providing funding for the 2019-2020 Sister Islands’ children’s tennis programme.
The programme is run by the Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands (TFCI). “Continuity of funding is really important for programmes like these, so we’re really grateful to Walkers for sponsoring Brac kids for a seventh successive year. That’s quite some commitment,” commented Susan Lindsay of the TFCI.
Walkers’ sponsorship has led to tennis becoming part of introductory P.E. lessons in Cayman Brac’s two primary schools, plus the high school. A pro from Grand Cayman, Neil Fernandez of the Ritz-Carlton, visits the Brac regularly, with his coaching incorporated into the schools’ regular sports lessons. Cayman Brac high school sports teacher, Mr. Michael Hundt, is a big fan of the programme: “There is no access to racquet sports on the island other than through this programme with Walkers; we’re really lucky, we value it,” he remarked. Added primary sports teacher Lavender Bryan: “I’ve learnt a lot of new skills, and so have the kids. We’ve seen a lot of progress.”
In June this year, to mix things up a little, three of Grand Cayman’s top junior players -- Willow Wilkinson, Oskar Bjuroe, and Zach Jackson -- joined Mr. Fernandez on a trip to Cayman Brac to help coach at West End Primary School. “The moment the students came out of their classes, their eyes were fixed on the three older players,” said Mr. Fernandez. The three played some high-level tennis on a mini court in a short demo match, before each taking a group of students and working on different strokes.
“Not only did the visit from Grand Cayman players spark a great deal of interest among the Brac students, but it also clearly inspired them. It made our students realise that they too could perhaps play tennis to a high standard one day,” added Mr. Fernandez.
Thanks to Walkers’ support over the years, the TFCI has supplied Cayman Brac schools with portable tennis nets – slightly lower than a standard tennis net – plus shorter racquets and slower-than-standard balls, which make the game really easy to pick up for juniors. Via Walkers’ funding, the island has also been given adult racquets so that the local community can play for free on the high school tennis court.
The TFCI is one of numerous local charities and non-profit organisations supported by Walkers in 2019.
Walkers' partner, Dorothy Scott, added "We are delighted to continue our support of the TFCI's Sister Islands’ children’s tennis programme, which provides children in Cayman Brac with the opportunity to play tennis and learn more about the sport from an experienced coach. It is great to see the kids enthusiastically learning different techniques of play, while having fun and keeping active."