Tennis Canada in partnership with Rogers Communications, the City of Toronto, and the Doug Philpott Inner-City Children’s Tennis Fund, unveiled today three refurbished courts at Maple Leaf Park in Toronto as part of a larger initiative that will provide free tennis programming and instructor training to youth in the surrounding community.
“Toronto is a great city for tennis. We have public tennis courts in 200 locations around the city and people have been playing tennis on public courts in Toronto parks since 1905,” said Mayor David Miller. “Partnership has been key to this project. The City was extremely pleased to partner with Rogers Communications, Tennis Canada and the Doug Philpott Inner City Children’s Tennis program. The partnership has resulted in beautiful courts, free children’s tennis programs and youth coaching clinics. This partnership has created a wonderful space for residents to enjoy tennis, stay active and healthy and develop sports leadership skills. These types of partnerships make our city a great place to live, work and play.”
With the improvements to the three resurfaced courts, the Philpott Fund will now be able to use Maple Leaf Park as a site for their summer tennis camps. It will be the thirteenth such site running these programs around the Greater Toronto Area which include free introductory tennis lessons to inner-city children. In addition, select participants will be offered leadership and training courses to attain their instructor certification with the hope that the skills learned will lead to future employment or income-generating opportunities.
“We are pleased to participate in such a fantastic initiative as part of our commitment to promoting the grassroots development of tennis from coast-to-coast,” said Susan Gordon, Vice President National Marketing, Rogers Communications. “Rogers customers value professional and amateur sports in Canada and they love to be entertained, which is why we want to give back to the Toronto community where they live, work and play.”
Participating children and volunteer coaches were present at the unveiling of the court Tuesday where they were able to interact with world No. 2 and winningest doubles team in history, Bob and Mike Bryan, and hear some first-hand tips from the established pros about what it takes to be successful in the sport. Mayor David Miller was also in attendance to show his support for the project and to present the official plaque that will be placed permanently alongside the courts.
"This terrific partnership was formed so that we could bring tennis and active living to the forefront of these children’s lives," said Michael S. Downey, president and chief executive officer, Tennis Canada. "Together, we are able to provide additional recreational and leadership opportunities to community members who previously had little access. Tennis Canada is very thankful for the ongoing commitment to the sport from Rogers Communications, the City of Toronto and the Doug Philpott Fund, as it helps us to achieve our mission to promote and grow the game in Canada."
For more information on the Philpott Fund’s summer tennis programming, please visit http://www.philpottchildrenstennis.ca.