Tennis players Jayshaun Hamlet and Naomi Mohammed are happy to return to centre court once more after three months of not being able to play because of the covid19 restrictions on sports.
“I was just longing for training to start back,” Hamlet, 12, told Newsday Kids during a break from practice at Harriman Park, Port Fortin. “I just started to work out and walk about the neighbourhood with my family to make up time.”
Mohammed, 11, felt the same way. “I felt depressed especially knowing that I could not train,” she said. It was only last week that the Prime Minister said all sports could start again.
The two players were on the court with their coach Raffeek Mohammed who was impressed with their positive attitude. They are hardworking and have great potential to succeed in the sport, he said.
“As a coach, it is difficult to say who will make it, but once they continue to be committed and work hard, they will have chance,” said the coach.
Hamlet and Mohammed are now able to train Monday to Friday, between 3 pm and 5.30 pm, at the Point Fortin court, and on Saturday mornings, 9 am to 12 pm, at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Tacarigua. They are members of the national junior team.
Hamlet has been playing tennis since he was four, and Mohammed began when she was three. In her case, she wants to be like her mother, Shenelle Mohammed who has been a senior national player representing TT at many tennis tournaments.
The young players described tennis as “mind-clearing experience” and they enjoy the thrill of the sport and its rewards.
Another reward they are keen to earn are places at their secondary schools of choice when they write the SEA exam on August 20. Hamlet wants to go to Presentation College and Mohammed’s choice is ASJA Girls’ College, both in San Fernando.
Just as they longed to play tennis, the standard five students of Point Fortin RC Primary School are eager to finally sit the exam which was scheduled for April 2, but was postponed when schools closed in March when Government announced stay-at-home measures to keep every safe from getting covid19.
“We prepared for five months, we have to do more work, three months being completed already,” Mohammed said. Hamlet said he was happy to have more time to prepare for the exam. The two students said they practised with the past papers that their teachers and the Ministry of Education sent out.
As they get ready to return to school in late July, Hamlet and Mohammed said they finally feel like all will be well, especially as they get to pursue their passion – tennis.