15 – BUILDING FOR SUCCESS FROM
THE FOUNDATION UP
High quality coaching remains a priority for growing the sport of tennis across Canada, and in 2015 more efforts were made to increase the number of certified coaches. Throughout the year, 38 certification courses were provided in Canada with 395 coaches being certified at various levels.
Coaches across Canada are continuing to work on becoming better as well, with over 800 coaches attending 20 professional development conferences and seminars aimed at improving their skills.
In 2015, nine clubs received top TDC (Tennis Development Centre) designations for their achievements in developing provincial, national, collegiate and international players. They are:
GOLD – Ace Tennis Burlington, Tenis Ile-des-Soeurs
SILVER – Mayfair West, Tennis Momentum Academie, Club Avantage Multisports, Ontario Racquet Club
BRONZE – Saville Sport Centre, ACE Tennis Toronto Tennis City, Academie Menard et associe
The Tennis Professionals Association (TPA) continued to be a leading resource for coaches across the country. In 2015, the TPA launched its new brand at its annual national coaching conference, which was one of its most successful events yet. Special guest Judy Murray visited both Toronto and Montreal as part of the conference, where she shared her valuable experience, wisdom, and techniques with the over 200 coaches in attendance.
Later in the year, membership hit another record with 3,000 coaches now part of the TPA. The organization continues to be recognized as the destination for coaches, with over 70 year-round facilities in Canada now employing only fully-certified and active TPA members.
Coaches need facilities in which to work and as Canadians identify a lack of year-round, indoor facilities as a top barrier to the sport, Tennis Canada and its provincial tennis association partners continue to put a strong focus on facility advocacy across the country. Support letters, resource guides and advocacy support has helped many partners in Canada establish traction and build plans to establish more year-round courts and facilities.
In addition, Calgary, Halifax and the Greater Vancouver Area have been identified as important markets to be home to regional tennis development centres, which would complement the centres already existing at Aviva Centre and Uniprix Stadium in Toronto and Montreal. Progress is being made in all three markets with the help of local advocates, partners and the PTAs.
Calgary remains the first market on target for a new facility. After reaching a land agreement with the City of Calgary in 2013, all remaining funds were raised for the construction of a regional tennis development centre which will house eight indoor hard courts. Under the leadership of Tennis Canada Board member Ron Ghitter and Tennis Alberta president Glen Scott, the new Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre is scheduled to open in spring of 2016.
In Toronto and Montreal, several unique ancillary events were hosted in 2015 to bring in additional revenue. Uniprix Stadium played host to several gala events involving the Grands Ballet, the Montreal Heart Institute, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal as well as Tennis Canada’s first fundraising evening. At Aviva Centre, the partnership with York University continues to be strong as they hold their exams and convocation in the Centre of Excellence, plus the inaugural York University New Student Orientation Ceremony. Last year also included the successful hosting and management of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games tennis competition with Canada winning two medals.
As the number of events in Canada continue to rise, the need for officiating does too. The country is becoming home to top-tier talent, with three Canadians certified as international officials by the ATP/WTA/ITF joint certification program in 2015 (one chair umpire, one referee, and one chief umpire) as well as one white badge referee. There is now a total of 26 Canadian officials with ATP/WTA/ITF certifications.
Throughout the year, Tennis Canada provided staffing for over 70 events at the national, international, and professional level including the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in Toronto. This does not include the numerous other provincial tournaments in which Canadian officials worked.
In addition, there was a strong Canadian officiating presence at the top level of the sport, with several homegrown officials working ATP and WTA events, an indication of the growing quality level of officials coming out of Canada. Training opportunities are held regularly, with 20 clinics run in six different provinces in 2015.