The Spring tennis calendar offers a variety of Seniors and Adult events in Alberta and BC. Why not add in a tournament or two to mature your game and enrich your tennis experience as a player, a fan, and/or as a volunteer?
(Photo above by Melissa Penney. Elaine Lyons plays with her daughter Ainslie and granddaughter Lydia at the Royal Glenora Club in Edmonton).
Tennis is a well organized sport at the provincial, national and international levels, for players of all ages. Seniors begins at age 35 in the tennis world, and continues to infinity and beyond. Entering tournaments may not pay off financially for Seniors (unless you are John McEnroe), but it can be rewarding in many other ways.
Tournaments for Seniors and Adults are organized by age (e.g. 50 and over), or by skill level (e.g. 4.0). Sue Gilbertson is Alberta’s representative on the Tennis Canada Seniors Committee. She describes Seniors tournament players as a mix of 4.0 and 5.0 levels.
I would say that Seniors tennis within Canada is a mixture of people playing at the 4.0 to the 5.0 level. It is probably about 50-50. However, at the international stage, play is at the 5.0 level and upward.
Sue Gilbertson, Alberta Representative on Tennis Canada Seniors Committee
How about this schedule? Start out with the Calgary AGCTC event in March, playing at your level (starts at 3.0 level). Then travel to Victoria for the Western Seniors at the end of April, entering in your age category. Finish off with the ITF event in Calgary in May, again competing with others your age.
The AGCTC is held in Calgary at The Tennis Academy. Events are for 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and open skill levels, not for seniors only. Open players compete in a staged event to qualify for a limited draw and prize money.
The Alberta Grassroots Charity Tennis Championship is an annual, province-wide tennis competition. We are working closely with the entire Alberta tennis community to build the biggest and best tennis tournament in the West. It will also boost the growth of tennis in Alberta, and provide an exciting challenge.
This year the Western Seniors will be in Victoria at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre, Panorama Leisure Centre, and Cedar Hill Recreation Centre. Combine a round of golf with tennis in beautfiul Victoria. Anyone can register and play. Last year’s westerns were held at the Royal Glenora Club and Saville Tennis Centre in Edmonton, with participation from players as far east as Nova Scotia. Entry forms are available online.
Calgary’s Osten and Victor Alberta Tennis Centre hosts Seniors on eight plexi-cushion indoor courts. Alberta’s only ITF seniors event, this tournament started just last year with about 80 players. Tournament director Danny Da Costa is hoping to increase player numbers this year. Again, anyone can register and play, starting with an ITF membership.
Sue Gilbertson is Alberta’s representative on the Tennis Canada Seniors Committee, and a frequent tournament player in the over 70 category. Her Seniors tennis journey began at age 45 in Alberta. Since then, she has been on 13 Canadian teams travelling to Turkey 8 times, New Zealand, Australia, Czechoslovakia, and Britain. Sue is a Wall of Fame member at both the Saville and Royal Glenora Clubs in Edmonton.
Seniors tournaments are a wonderful experience. It is great for socializing with like-minded people. It keeps you healthy, mentally and physically. The best thing of all about playing in international Seniors tennis tournaments is that it offers you a challenge and an opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Tennis as a Senior offers a positive lifestyle and a sense of community.
Sue Gilbertson at the University of Alberta’s Outdoor Tennis Centre
While tournament play is not for everyone, it offers enjoyable and entertaining tennis, whether one participates as a volunteer, a fan, a player, or all three. You don’t need to go far afield to find welcoming tournaments in Alberta.
Denis Shapovalov, our Canadian NextGen star, has said that he wants to help make tennis the second most popular sport in Canada, next to hockey. Seniors, over 35, can help with that too, a lot. Contact Tennis Alberta to get involved.