In April of 2021, I commenced the role of Executive Director at Tennis Alberta. I stepped into the position aware of the challenges the tennis community was facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and tuned in to the opportunity that exists as tennis continues to trend as one of the leading sports in Canada.
Tennis’s prominence both domestically and internationally, coupled with the successes of Canadian pro athletes on the international stage, will continue to inspire existing and future generations ensuring our sport remains stable and healthy.
Successes in 2021
As we headed into the summer of 2021, outdoor tennis was able to return and gradually tennis tournaments were allowed. This carried into the indoor season where clubs quickly adjusted to changing government regulations to continue offering their members access to court time, programs and services.
Clubs of all sizes have my deepest appreciation for the diligence and care they have given to their members which enabled tennis players of all ages and abilities to continue partaking in tennis activities safely.
Tournaments and programming are an essential part of the tennis community’s overall playing experience. I would like to thank our many club partners who appreciate and acknowledge the many benefits associated with hosting tournaments. Many partner clubs that have hosted events have in turn helped Tennis Alberta gradually rebuild the provincial sanctioned tournaments schedule. For your continued support, we are immensely grateful.
Alberta continues to have a strong cohort of tennis players of all ages. This year the University of Alberta Men’s and Women’s tennis teams once again dominated at the Canadian University Nationals bringing the Championship title home to Alberta. Alberta Juniors deserve applause for their outstanding participation at the Outdoor Junior Nationals, held this year after a hiatus in 2020.
The tennis community is enthusiastically following the progress of several athletes who are and have been traveling to compete at ITF Junior tournaments. Players are dominating in the singles and doubles categories in Canada and abroad. Notable mentions include Mia Kupres, Alexia Jacobs, Chetanna Amadike, Jolene Fernandes, and Sophie Stanton.
I wish to congratulate all of the junior and adult players participating in the Canadian Open level and ITF circuits amongst others.
Lastly, we have a hard-working group of Junior athletes preparing for the 2022 Niagara Summer Games. The tennis community eagerly awaits the commencement of the August 2022 event, and the opportunity to cheer on selected AB athletes and the coaching staff led by Josh Sundwall and Kristina Sanjevic.
Looking Toward 2022
As we approach 2022, Tennis Alberta is providing added membership benefits through offering a sequence of individual membership enhancements. The additional benefits are value-added for all tennis players – adult, junior, senior, wheelchair, recreational, high performance, new player, or experienced enthusiast. We encourage all athletes to consider supporting tennis in Alberta and becoming a member. Further details are available at tennisalberta.com/join.
Over the next year, Tennis Alberta will focus on several priorities. Some important ones shall be:
- Working with the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta to grow access to the sport in Indigenous communities.
- Partnering with community organizations to expand the reach of touchtennis as an accessible alternative and complement to full-court play.
- Facilitating more Try Tennis events for children with partners across Alberta including Edmonton Junior Tennis Society and Tennis Edmonton.
- Recognizing that tennis players exist in all the areas of Alberta and finding opportunities to bring awareness of tennis activities to those particular communities.
- Advocating for cost-effective indoor tennis facilities in Edmonton and other locations throughout Alberta.
None of these endeavours would be possible without partners and stakeholders that see the value of tennis and work tirelessly towards its advancement. Tennis Alberta would like to thank all of our partner organizations for their ongoing support of tennis throughout the province.
Notable appreciation is extended to Aforza Tennis Club, Red Deer Tennis Club, Saville Community Sports Centre, The Glencoe Club, Edmonton Junior Tennis, Tennis Edmonton, Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta, and our many brand and funding partners for their continued support.
Finally, I wish to sincerely thank all tennis players for their passion, support, and dedication to the sport.
On behalf of Tennis Alberta’s Board of Directors and Staff, I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.
Warm holiday greetings,
Photo: Try Tennis Event; Photo David Ross