Nadal stakes Kuwait claim with new academy
Rafael Nadal is expanding his post-tennis commercial footprint with the gaudy announcement of a tennis academy in the Gulf kingdom of Kuwait.
The opening of the facility which rival the mothership operation on the world No. 1’s home island of Mallorca, is billed as a partnership between a local developer and one of Nadal’s longtime sponsors, Movistar.
Nadal is set to inaugurate the operation in February. Head coaching duties will be handled by former Portuguese player and Davis Cup captain Nuno Marques,49.
The academy will feature 18 courts: a covered showcourt with more than 5,000 seats, a secondary open court seating 1,500 seats plus eight covered courts and eight other courts.
On hand for the ceremonies onsite was Toni Nadal, the player’s uncle and former coach who directs the Mallorca facility.
Nadal made his presence felt in a video message as he rested following Spain’s Davis Cup title win over Canada in Madrid.
“I’m personally very happy to open the Academy in Kuwait. We’re working hard to create the right programs for the kids and our members, making for strong development of tennis all over the region. See you very soon,” he said.
Toni Nadal is equally enthusiastic: “We have been working so that players from all over the world train in tennis and life skills in Mallorca, where we try to instill in them the importance of hard work, sacrifice and humility so that they perform as well as possible and give their all.
“Here in Kuwait, we seek to do the same with young children and adults who come to these magnificent facilities. Nuno and the whole team of coaches will guarantee that the quality of our training is on par with the best in the world.
“With the aid of our great (local) partner Tamdeen, we will help grow the sport in Kuwait.”.
Nadal’s academy, which will not be accepting boarding students as in Mallorca, will become the biggest international tennis academy in the Middle East as Kuwait starts to catch official tennis fever.
Nearby Dubai as for decades been the site of men’s and women’s ATP events in February while Doha hosts men’s and women’s Tour stops early each year. Abu Dhabi stages an annual exhibition around the Christmas-New Year season.
“We want to create national champions, yet every journey must start at the beginning,” Marques said.
“Our coaches will engage with members, visitors and the community to transfer tennis knowledge and stress the importance of healthy, active lifestyles.
“We will educate, excite and engage our players and deliver a platform to develop talent and fulfill lives. Our journey starts today.”
The academy is already seeking student applications and is up and running with Instagram and Facebook pages plus a website.
Written by Bill Scott for Grandslamtennis.online. To read more visit grandslamtennis.online