Kids were game to pick up some top tennis tips

by Nick Fitzgerald
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CHILDREN as young as four years old with hearing difficulties were courting some top tips with a visit to Rosemont Secondary School recently to play tennis for the first time.
LC Tennis, based at the Sandyford school, teamed up with the charity DeafHear to provide a coaching/tennis event last week.
The event was to introduce tennis as an activity to the community and to groups that may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn to play and experience the joy of tennis, with the tennis tots being on the ball at picking up some early insights.
Julianne Gillen, community resource officer and camp coordinator of DeafHear said: “We have 24 children here today – there’re about 17 deaf children, and the rest are CODA’s (Children of Deaf Adults), such as siblings, a cousin.
“A little girl brought her cousin; she is only four years old, and it’s her first time to come to a camp – actually, it’s her first time meeting other deaf children, and she was very nervous coming.”
DeafHear is a charity that provides services to people who are deaf and hard of hearing and their families across Ireland, with about 13 offices across the country, each with their own summer camp, where possible.
Julianne said: “We have a mixed age group because we are the only camp that provide this service.”
The coaches of LC Tennis Academy gave up their time willingly, with the free session at Rosemont held to help provide a support network and a fun day out for the children.
The session is only the start of a programme by LC Tennis to reach groups in the Stepaside, Sandyford and Dundrum communities, with future events planned for groups with disabilities, local youth clubs and various schools in the vicinity.
Lyall Cohen, of LC Tennis Academy, told The Gazette: “We would normally run junior summer camps for the months of July and August and then in the evenings we would have our adult coaching.
“Any opportunity we can give back to the community, to run an event for different communities, we’re delighted to do that and we’re delighted to be here to give these kids the opportunity to play tennis, some of them for the first time.”
Hannah Clarke, a soon to be 5th Year student at Rosemont Secondary School, was enthusiastic about the event, telling The Gazette: “I was given the opportunity to work here in LC Tennis Academy and I didn’t miss the chance.
“We’ve been taking lots of different events, this DeafHear one for example. We love having different communities, and people around; it’s just great to see everyone playing tennis.”

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