Local Tennis Versus Covid-19: “It’s Tough To Swallow” Says Sir Sean Arlain

Former national tennis player of the 90s and now CEO and head coach for Tiger Tennis in Flow Academy, Sir Sean Arlain says the current situation brought along by the Coronavirus pandemic is “tough to swallow”.

(L-R) Sir Sean Arlain during one of his grassroots training sessions with a young aspiring player; two outstanding female players – Netanya Faissal and Aviona Edmund. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

Covid -19 has so far infected more than 4,444,670 people in 213 countries and killed over 302,493.

Sir Sean spoke to the VOICE earlier this week about the setbacks he is facing due to COVID-19.

“At present we don’t have any programmes running at the Kenneth “Wriggler” King Multi-purpose Courts on Darling Road and that’s due to the closure of traditional school.”

He added, “We are in the process of setting up online coaching, which is not that hard to do, but it’s taking more time than expected. We also want to set up a new YouTube channel as well so people can subscribe; tips will be free and lessons will have to be paid for, that’s well on the way, so we are keeping busy.”

In terms of assisting with devices for young aspiring tennis players for school purposes, Sir Sean said, “We are trying to help out wherever we can. Children are in need of devices for school and we are still helping out in that respect trying to source tablets or laptops wherever we can to help out. There is still a lot to be done; Covid -19 has changed a lot”.

In terms of developmental programmes: “We have six events planned; three with the Sandals Foundation and three with LUCELEC”.

Sir Sean noted, “When the world ushered in 2020, it promised such great things and growth especially from the 8-14 divisions players. This is tough to swallow as matters are completely out of our hands. We have no control over this, and it is the most frustrating part; no one knows when it will end.”

In terms of championships when the all clear is given, Sir Sean said, “Once the Ministry of Health and the CMO gives the okay, the Voyager Open will be our 1st championship. The other is the Northwest Championship. We will have to wait and see what happens from here on as far as tournaments. We just have to wait for the all clear to get things moving again.”

“Even our Welcome to the Jungle Programme with the Sandals Foundation was on our schedule of events for 2020, it was already set, but COVID-19 has brought it all to a screeching halt”.

(L-R) Sir Sean has done tremendous work with the following players – Jace Leon, Nadjema Morrile, Coren Charles and Jean Phillipe -Murray, to name a few. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

A brief history of Sir Sean

After so many years it is still debatable as to which sport attracts the most children. Interestingly for Sir Sean as a child, football was his first love. At the age of nine the pendulum shifted drastically as he was handed a tennis racket. Twenty-nine years later, he still has not put it down.

His first major win was the Renwick Open Classic in December 1992. From his account, his most memorable win was in 1995 when he partnered with Eve Simson to emerge champions in the Junior Caribbean Under 14s championship in Antigua and Barbuda. He also represented Saint Lucia in various age groups in events including the Davis Cup for several years.

Sir Sean continues to pursue his dream and his first love, coaching tennis on a grassroots level for the past 15 years. To date he has done great work with Gordon and Walcott Memorial Methodist School which is a stone’s throw away from the Kenneth “Wriggler” King Multi-purpose Court, also the Cannon Laurie Anglican Infant and Primary, Ave Maria Girls School, RC Boys, St Joseph’s Convent, St Mary’s College, as well as the Castries Comprehensive and Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary schools.

Anthony De Beauville is The VOICE Publishing Company’s multi-award winning sports journalist. He works closely with a number of sports federations including the Department of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee and other organizations.

He covers and contributes articles highlighting the areas of international, regional, national, community based clubs and schools sporting activities. There is never an off day as he stays busy... Read full bio...

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