Leduc is well known for its passion for sport and the City’s investment in sport tourism. In 2019 Leduc placed third as a sport hosting city with a population under 50,000 according to the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) GSI Canada Index. (They were also a finalist for a 2018 CSTA Prestige award, and won CSTA Canadian Sport Event Sponsor of the Year Award in 2017.) With the support of the recently formed Leduc Tennis Association, Leduc is adding tennis to its roster of sports and sport tourism events.
The Leduc Tennis Association (LTA) is the passion project of former City of Leduc Councillor David MacKenzie. During his time as a councillor he helped get the Leduc outdoor tennis courts refinished. Now with the help of the LTA board, comprised of eight passionate residents who are regulars at Tennis Alberta adult tournaments, Leduc hosted its first Tennis Alberta sanctioned tournament.
The LTA worked with the City of Leduc to leverage grant funding available for sports organizations in order to support the tournament.
“Tennis is an emerging sport in Leduc’s sport arena. Working with an organization like the Leduc Tennis Association helps us offer a full range of sports as part of our sports tourism mandate. The LTA is a fantastic addition to our roster of partners,” says Janet Guthrie, City of Leduc Sport Tourism Coordinator.
The outdoor courts in Leduc were originally an ice rink during the winter and asphalt tennis courts in the summer. With MacKenzie’s leadership as a City Councillor, the City invested to have the courts resurfaced (completed eight years ago), a fence added and new lights installed. The courts were designated as tennis courts only rather than multi-use. The City of Leduc continues to maintain the courts.
“Leduc has a strong sports tourism mandate. LTA hopes to put Leduc on the map for Tennis,” says MacKenzie. “With the City’s support and our excellent outdoor courts, we are positioned to do just that.”
First Junior Tournament In Leduc
The U18 Selections was held in Leduc for the first time from April 25-28. In a weekend that will be remembered for its weather, including a snowstorm that cancelled all matches on Saturday, athletes preserved through the weekend. Tyler Waddock, won the Boys Singles. Hailey Murphy won Girls Singles.
“It’s wonderful having Leduc join the Tennis Alberta community. It’s a great facility with excellent courts. It allows players the opportunity to travel to new places and play in a new environment,” says Derek van den Berg, Technical Manager Tournaments and Provincial Programming. “Having additional clubs able to host tournaments is great for the community, as it takes the pressure off the other clubs, who in the past had to host so many events. It’s good to see a new club beginning to start, as they will be able to add players into the system, and more depth is always good for the level of competition.”
Moving forward the LTA hopes to grow the tennis community in Leduc. They are planning to add a second tournament, an adult 4.0/5.0 tournament, to its hosting roster with the support of the City of Leduc grant. They are working toward making the most of the short outdoor season with adult drop-in nights. The City will use the courts for lessons run through their recreational youth programming.
In addition to the outdoor courts, Leduc is replacing the turf in one of their indoor field houses located in the Leduc Recreation Centre. Once refinished, temporary lines for one indoor tennis court will be available for residents and tennis enthusiasts to use.