x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Agassi's old school to open UAE branch

An American school that lists the tennis players Andre Agassi and Monica Seles among its alumni is to open a branch in the UAE.

An American school that lists the tennis players Andre Agassi and Monica Seles among its alumni is to open a branch in the UAE. The Bradenton Preparatory Academy aims to have 200 students when it opens in Dubai Sports City in September. It will be the first overseas branch of the Florida academy, which dates back to 1975 and was also attended by DaMarcus Beasley, a US footballer who plays for Glasgow Rangers, and Mark Knowles, a Bahamian tennis player.

The school will offer classes from kindergarten to Grade 12 and expects eventually to have 900 pupils. Dr Lois Gerber, the academy's founder, said entry would be based on academic, rather than sporting, ability. Pupils will take American college board examinations and will also be expected to spend several hours a day playing sport or taking part in athletics, although Dr Gerber said the school would focus on preparing them for college rather than to be professional athletes.

"The flexibility of the system allows them to explore what they want to do," she said. The school will offer football, basketball, volleyball, swimming, tennis and golf. dbardsley@thenational.ae