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Co-founder & Head Tennis Coach
George spent his junior career playing in the U.K. He represented his county of Yorkshire at every level and won a county title in 2000. After competing in the National Championships in his final year of Junior level George decided to remain in education and went on to gain a degree in business and economics after being awarded Division One scholarships in the USA at Fairleigh Dickinson University and in the UK at Leeds Metropolitan University where he was first team Captain.
With 18 years of coaching experience from all over the world George has developed effective coaching methods and professionalism influenced from his work with top academies in the USA, U.K, Spain, Australia, Singapore and Dubai. George is USPTR and LTA qualified.
Combining these skills with his passion for the tennis George has endeavoured to build Rackets Academy, translating his vision, enthusiasm and style to clients, whether it be with high performance juniors or beginners.
Head Performance Coach
After finishing in the top 5 Juniors tennis player in Argentina, Mariano attended college in the United States where he ranked 28th nationally (NCAA Division 1) and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Management.
After a few seasons as a professional tennis player, and raking 800th in the world, Mariano started his career as a High Performance Coach. With more than 10 years of experience coaching ATP, WTA, and Juniors players, he has participated in all 4 Grand Slams and has worked for two of the most prestigious European tennis academies (Schuttler-Waske Tennis University in Germany and Kim Clijsters Academy in Belgium).
Today, Mariano shares his passion for tennis and international experience with his players, helping them reach their best performance level, all, while enjoying their time on the court.
Mariano also serves as sparring partner for some of the top professional tennis players who regularly come to Dubai for their off-season preparation, such as Lucas Pouille (#20 ATP) and Svetlana Kuznetzova (#8 WTA)
Mariano’s languages include Spanish, English, French & Italian.
High Performance Coach
Recognised as being one of Great Britain’s most successful performance coaches over the last 20 years, James backs up his credentials with the highest qualifications in the sport including the level 5 LTA Master Performance Coach award.
As a player, he was a top 50 International junior playing in Grand Slams, including Wimbledon and other events on around the world on the ITF Tour. He become a top British Professional with a world ranking in the top 500 ATP and competed on the ATP Challenger Circuit.
After retiring from professional tennis, James worked with world no.1 Monica Seles as a practice partner before being appointed as an LTA National Coach. For 10 years he coached and travelled extensively to Grand Slams as well as ATP and WTA events with many of the best players in Britain, including Elena Baltacha, Laura Robson, Ann Keothavong, Chris Wilkinson and James Ward.
Throughout this time, James also became National U14 Boys Winter Team Captain and junior players whom he coached started winning British National titles, as well as International titles at Tennis Europe and ITF level. This love of developing youngers took him to a point where he created his own academy which became one a High-Performance Centre supported by the LTA built for the development of future British talent.
James has coached, trained and developed over 25 players who have competed at senior and junior Grand Slam events as well as juniors winning ITF and Tennis Europe events, British National Champions at all age groups including orange ball, green ball and U12.
This range of experience and success is why he is recognized as one of Britain’s most experienced performance coaches specializing in the development of juniors who wish to make tennis a career.
He aims to support Rackets Academy in it’s goal of growing the grass roots performance player base and guild them towards international standards as well as travelling internationally with targeted players and groups. James is able to guide parents who need to understand more about the game including competitive and collage pathways.
Still highly competitive himself on the senior Tour, he was selected to play in the world champions last year for Great Britain. He is also supporting adult players who need a highly skilled eye on any technical issues which have proved difficult to solve. In recent years he has worked with Jurate Hardy as she became world no.1 senior on the ITF senior circuit.
James is always supportive and available to help work with all players in love with tennis and prepared to work hard!
High Performance Coach
Simon was ranked top 20 in the Uk. 14 times Lancashire Men’s County Champion. Ex number 1 touchtennis player in the World. He went on to become a professional tennis player and was ranked 747th in the world. When Simon retired from professional tennis he held match point against American no 1 and world no 7 Mardy Fish.
Simon worked for 3 years with Ex world number 2 junior player Liam Broady who made the Wimbledon junior singles final and won the junior Wimbledon doubles final! As a doubles pair we made the semifinals of a $15000 futures tournament in Belgium!
Simon worked as a traveling coach to ITF, WTA and ATP players. Taking them to tournaments all over the World!
Simon has 15 years experience as a high performance tennis coach having worked at such prestigious tennis academies as Bolton Arena UK and La Manga Tennis Club, Spain. He holds an LTA level 4 Senior Performance Coach Award.
Simon shares his passion and enthusiasm for tennis with his students.Helping them to become the best players they can be! Creating a fun and challenging learning environment in which to improve their game!
Jordan growing up in Wimbledon started playing tennis from an early age. Throughout the 12’s, 14’s and 16’s age groups he was within the top 20 in the UK and competed at the highest level up until the age of 20 when he turned his focus to coaching.
During the last few years of his playing career he competed all over the world against many of whom are now on the professional tour reaching a ITF ranking of top 800. Playing in some of the most prestigious tournaments including the Orange Bowl and was part of the team that won the World Championships for schools in Belgium.
For the last 7 years he has coached all ages and abilities from beginners to performance players. He has a fun approach to coaching and a passion to get kids and adults enjoying their tennis. He reached a career high of World No.2 at touchtennis so comes with great hands!
Tennis & Elite Fitness Coach
With over 15 years experience in Portugal Luís Vazāo achieved his degree in Sports and Performance at University. He has played professional tennis and also worked as a fitness coach training with a top Portuguese Tennis Academy.
Luís has worked with ITF, ATP, WTA with players from different nationalities, from social tennis to training with top form players such as Frederico Silva and Wimbledon Juniors.
Luis offers private, semi private or group lessons, cardio tennis specialising in Agility and Movement on Court programs (AMC) at Motor City and across Dubai.
His passion it’s to help players to be better on court and enjoy tennis but also promote well being.
“Better than yesterday” Luís Vazāo
Ranked number 6 on Egypt for her age group for 8 years and with over 26 years on court, Sarah has a huge passion for tennis.
She majored in Accounting and started coaching while studying in university. With a passion for humanitarian aid, she pursued a part time master’s degree and earned it in Migration and Refugee Studies from the American University in Cairo while professionally pursuing her coaching career.
With 10 years of coaching experience, Sarah is a certified ITF level 1 and 2 coach. She attended various coaching workshops, an ITF Regional Coach Conference and The ITF World Coaches Conference. The coaching conferences has created a platform for interacting and gaining experiences to different coaching insights from all over the world.
Her coaching philosophy focuses on developing the overall tennis game with the correct foundation and basics that allows the player a sustainable progress. She has been coaching all ages and levels, from 3 years old to veterans over 60, from beginners and intermediate to performance players and the national teams. She has coached top 5 Egyptian players and the Egyptian national Team players for over 7 years.
She was a member of the Development Committee at the Egyptian Tennis Federation in charge of the under 10 task force working in reshaping the Red, Orange and Green Tennis games working towards turning it into developmental effective and fun for children under 10. Children’s psychology is a pivotal factor in their development. This is an area that she greatly focuses on while coaching and in overall interaction
Her languages include Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Italian and Greek.
With 15 years of playing and coaching tennis Sean developed his career to a national standard spanning across Florida, Philadelphia, Belgium, UK and Dubai.
Having received coaching from professionals including Pascal Collard, Boris Bosnjakovic, Eric Docterman, and Richard Williams, he has played and coached at the famous Mar-O-Lago Club (West Palm Beach), Merion Cricket Club (Philadelphia), Bollettieri Academy (West Florida), The Saddlebrook Resort (West Florida), Royal Charles-Quint Tennis Club (Brussels), the Williams Ranch (East Florida) and the Sutton Junior Tennis Centre and Fujairah Tennis and Country club.
His position here in Dubai as School’s Coordinator for The Rackets Academy promises to produce young talent and aims to make this the best tennis academy in Dubai.
Sam has a great love for Tennis and this transfers onto the court with clients. He began his playing career in Africa competing on the ITF juniors circuit and ended the this with a top 200 Junior ITF ranking and number 3 in Nigeria. He then turned professional and continued to compete on the ITF curcuit all over the world. Sam has also represented Nigeria at the Davis cup.
Sam has been coaching for over 5 years, in South Africa, and Houston, Texas as well as a hitting partner to the pros at the Dubai Open Championship for 2 years. He is now part of the Rackets Academy family and intends to push himself and his clients to the next level.
He has a passion for high performance and has the experience and drive to challenge young aspiring kids to get to the highest level. He is loved by all his clients of all ages and abilities.
Kirk was born and raised in Dubai, he started his tennis career as early as the age of 5. Being ranked no.1 in all the junior categories in the UAE growing up. He began performing and competing in the ITF juniors and reached a career high of 380.
Kirk began coaching 7 years ago along side with his studies. He had graduated finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Business and Management from Murdoch University, Dubai. Instead, he loves to share his passion and heart for the sport and hopes to bring up young aspiring juniors in the near future.
He joined Rackets Academy in 2019 and has big hopes to create great players and spark interest to those who are new to the sport.
Coach & Tournament Director
Kris has played tennis professionally up until 17 years old and in that period he was successful at regional level. Kris became one of the first five players on the Belgrade rankings list and among the first ten players on the national rankings for under 14 and under 16, and has played several European tournaments in Junior categories.
Kris has over 5 years experience in coaching and is now the Tournament Director at our facility.
Degree in marketing and sport management.
Coach & Camps Coordinator
Playing tennis at the highest junior level in Romania and international events, Moro started teaching tennis and chair umpiring, finding his true passion for teaching high performance in one of the top academies in Romania.
With over 10 years of coaching experience at all levels around the world and 4 years in Dubai, he is always excited to share his experience with clients and making them fall in love with the game even more. He has both a degree and masters as a PE Teacher and graduated Romanian National Tennis Coaching School with P.T.R. and GPTCA qualifications.
Fuad is from Nigeria with a big forehand and a passion for the game of tennis.
He started the game at the age of 7 years. Fuad played junior tournaments in Lagos, Abuja, India, Cameroon. Fuad was among his country Nigeria’s top junior tennis players by age 10, representing Nigeria.
Fuad started coaching 10 yrs ago in Goa, India part time when he was in college studying finance then continued in Lagos, Nigeria and now Dubai. A PTR certified teaching professional.
Fuad is knowledgeable, dedicated and passionate about coaching people of all ages, but he particularly takes pride in coaching entry-level players and introducing kids to the game. He brings a unique mix of the highest level of tennis coaching and tennis playing experience to the table.
“Inno” in his playing career participated not just nationally in Nigeria but represented his country on a international stage. Since then he has worked in Africa and the Middle East in leading academies. He has been coaching for the past 10 years. Has real passion when working with players of all level and patience with kids. Degree in Banking and finance. INNO has P.T.R AND PTCAN Qualifications.
Lito Dela Cruz
Administrator & Padel Coach
Lito was born in Caloocan, Philippines, where I start my love in sports, I all join tennis club as a ball boy and succeeded to be joining club tournaments. The love in sports is already in our blood. I also pursue to finishing my college in Technological Institute of the Philippines, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.
In 2013, is the year that he was introduced in padel when he started coachng in Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex. He was trained by the best players in the country on how to teach the game. His skills and techniques have improved to be shared to those who would love to learn Padel Tennis.
Lourdes Dela Cruz
Lourdes grew up in Manila,Philippines. She has a degree in Associate Radiologic Technology at Family Clinic College. She joined St Lukes Hospital which is one of the well known hospital in the Philippine and a joint commission international accreditation (JCIA) accredited. She has 10 years experience on these secretary, admin, receptionist and accounting. She is expert with dealing and assisting all customers needs eapecially when her everday task. Last 2014 she joined Pathak Engineering Maintenance as admin to enhance and gain more experience wirh her chosen career. Now she is working in Rackets Academy showcasing her 10 years of experience with regard to her administrative and customer service skills.
La Dela Cruz
L.A. grew up in Manila, Philippines. The love in sports has always been with him as he grew up watching his other family members play tennis in their province but he fell in love with a different sport, Badminton. He used to be a varsity member of his school’s Badminton team but decided to focus in his studies more.
He has a degree in Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology and a licensed Medical Technologist in the Philippines. He had a year of internship in Providence Hospital Inc. and St. Lukes Medical Center, some of the distinguished hospitals in the country. He eventually joined Providence Hospital Inc. as a Medical Technologist for 6 months, catering to patient’s needs and inquiries as well as doing his Laboratory duties and now he is part of the Rackets Academy Family
Elite Program Physiotherapist
After graduating from the University of Central Lancashire in 2008 Jen spent 8 years working as a Physiotherapist in the NHS, private practice and professional football. After moving to Dubai in 2016 she has been at UPANDRUNNING for 3 1/2 years where she is educational lead, rehab team manager and clinic manager at their Emirates Golf Club branch.
Jen completed her MSc in Advancing Physiotherapy Practice in 2020 via Sheffield Hallam University and took on the role of advisory Physiotherapist at Rackets Academy in December 2019.
Her specialist interests include spinal injuries, lower limb and shoulder injuries. Outside of work she enjoys gym training, kickboxing and much to the despair of George, tries really hard to play tennis! You can meet Jen on Sunday evenings at training in Motor City and is available for appointment bookings at UPANDRUNNING based at Emirates Golf Club.