Tennis is no easy sport as people need to dive on the hard tennis courts in order to win the game and practice constantly.
But for 11-year-old Kaieema Burnett, it looks as though it comes naturally. At the Nelson Mandela Park Tennis Court, in St Clair, Kaieema fluttered from one end of the court on her side to the other.
She was playing against her dad who cannot play as quick as her, but tried his best and it was clear that she took it easy on him.
Kaieema said she started playing tennis after trying to find her path with track and field, but found it too difficult for her.
“I tried my best at track and field, but I didn’t like it very much because it was really challenging and took a lot out of my body at the age of seven.”
She added that after watching television, she came across a tennis game which peaked her interest in the sport.
After that the standard five student of Moulton Hall Methodist Primary School started training at Anglez Tennis Academy in Port of Spain, and has been doing so for two years now. Kaieema said her favorite part of training is getting to play with some of her teammates after the session.
“I enjoyed the fun practice matches my teammates and I have after training the most, they are usually really, really competitive.”
These matches take place at the Nelson Mandela Park court since it’s her favorite spot because, she said, it is quite spacious and well-kept.
Though she is constantly on the go with her training sessions, she has not entered any tennis tournaments since she is preparing for the 2023 SEA exams.
“I have not participated in any competitions as yet as I am currently preparing for SEA so all my focus is there.”
Aside from tennis, Kaieema said her art pieces are inspired by whatever is in front of her and doesn’t have a specific muse.
“I do those a lot in my spare time and I have been doing them my whole life.”
Kaieema is impatiently awaiting the end of her SEA exams so she can continue all of her hobbies for as long as she’d like.
“I would like to be a professional tennis player when I grow up and I would also like to own many businesses.”
This comes as she idolises famous tennis player Serena Williams and Coco Guaff. Williams has ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for 319 weeks and has won 23 Grand Slam awards. Guaff has ranked number six by the WTA at only 18.
While being a professional tennis player, Kaieema would also like to own her own bakery and a car dealership.
Seeing as though both of those are complete opposites, she explained that she has a passion for baking red velvet cakes and learning about different car models.
Kaieema then offered words of encouragement and advice to other children interested in playing tennis.
“To any kid interested in playing tennis, I guarantee that you would have a lot of fun playing tennis and would meet a lot of new friends and cool trainers. I would also tell them to always put their trust in God because with him you can achieve any goal.”