I was pleased to learn recently that tennis is ranked the number one individual sport in Canada and that our neighbours in Quebec rank it as the second most popular sport behind hockey. This is a time of tremendous growth for our sport!
This is also an exciting time of growth for Tennis Alberta. In the short time I have been at the organization, we have added three staff, added a new sponsorship partner with HEAD Canada, watched as some of Tennis’ best competed in the Calgary Challenger — Alberta’s first-ever ATP Challenger Tour, and hosted the 106th Alberta OPEN focused on bringing elite-level tennis to Edmonton.
The addition of new staff directly impacts our commitment to build the sport. The increased capacity allows us to develop high performance junior athletes, shape programming for every tennis athlete across the province, communicate our successes and build community. Supporting these initiatives, our 2019 Outdoor season will include:
- the inaugural Outdoor Alberta Junior Open in Medicine Hat,
- Outdoor Adult Provincials hosted in Red Deer,
- two Wheelchair tournaments,
- four Seniors events, and;
- 11 Alberta Tour Adult events.
Welcoming athletes from across the world to the 107th Alberta OPEN, to be held July 25-28, 2019, gives athletes the chance to compete for the $15,000 in winnings available. Fans get a glimpse of top tennis competitors with the hopes they pick up a racket and join the more than 6 million Canadians who played tennis in 2018. This year we look forward to incorporating a corporate tournament into the Alberta OPEN schedule.
Tennis Alberta is working with Tennis Canada to roll out two important initiatives in the new year – safe guarding our sport and nurturing a Positive Competitive Environment. You may have already seen our banners supporting a positive environment up at a tournament. More information about how clubs, parents, and athletes can participate to come in the new year.
I wish to extend my warm wishes for a happy holiday season. May 2019 be filled with increased tennis participation, new, enthusiastic fans, and more people grabbing a racket and hitting the court.
Executive Director, Tennis Alberta