Pierre ‘The Bear’ Lamarche: “Do You Think This Is Right?..”

Tue, Mar 15, 2011


Pierre ‘The Bear’ Lamarche: “Do You Think This Is Right?..”

The Bear: this was a difficult article to write because the people involved are an important part of our tennis family. But it must be written if ONcourt is to be the voice of Canadian tennis. Fans, while being an important component [financially] of the sport, are given token say through various polls which ask such relevant [!] questions as, who was best: “Laver or Sampras?” They are catered to because their dollars fuel the economy of the various organizations that rule the sport. But, what about the players’ and the coaches’ rights and opinions?

If you are good enough the ATP and WTA players association will defend your rights, but what about if you are a national, provincial or regional competitive player? Options are available but bureaucratic process is usually a complex and drawn out procedure. If you’re a coach, you can belong to a federation’s coaching association which is run by the federation. Not much chance there to address issues which are contrary to federation policies.

Basically players and coaches do not have a voice. Here is an example of an incident which is unfolding this week in Ontario.

Based on facts:

1. A coach gets fired by a club

2. The coach sues the club for wrongful dismissal

3. The hearing for dismissal has not been heard

4.  The club hosts a National Championship

5. Tennis Canada sanctions the National Championship at the club

6.   The coach is a player in good standing with the association

7.   The coach enters the tournament as a competitor

8.   The club notifies the coach he cannot enter the club

9.   The tournament director takes the coach’s name out of the draw

In this country where individual rights are preeminent, does this sound right?

What happens if the coach works at another club and wants to go see his junior player who is playing a provincial event at the said club? Will he be refused entry to the club? Is that fair to the junior player and his parents?

Can tournament directors hold sanctioned provincial and national events and refuse entry to anyone they chose?

Is this a dangerous precedent?

Should the national or provincial association be involved in such an issue?

Can this coach’s tennis career as a player, his chances to play competitively, his chances of representing Canada internationally be affected by such a decision?

Does this seem like discrimination?

If it is who is liable?

If it isn’t… What a can of worms…

What do you think?

Note from The Bear: As an answer to the above, I am about to start up my fifth coaches association. I have been involved in the creation of the The association of Quebec coaches [tennis], The Canadian Professional Coaches Association [all sport], The International Tennis Federation Coaching Commission and The Coaches Association of Ontario [all sport]. I believe it is now time to create a group ‘The Performance Coaches of Canadian Tennis’ which will provide input on the various policies of tennis development in this country. Since these coaches are responsible for the initial development of the Canadian players, and clubs, and academies, it only seems logical that their be heard. Read upcoming articles for further information on this new group.

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3 Responses to “Pierre ‘The Bear’ Lamarche: “Do You Think This Is Right?..””

  1. 1
    Ian Adams Says:

    Inorder to answer your question, it is important that more detail is given
    for your readers to respond with a possibl hee solution. Based on the info that has been given, i will have to say that it is possible that the club has suspended or worse retired that coach from that the club and he could possibly face trespassing charges depending on what has transpired with all parties , including its members and the club. The above stated reply is the opinion of the writer and no other affilliations. Regards Ian Adams (Heron Park Coach).

  2. 2
    David Harris Says:

    II think this is completely wrong to disallow a player in good standing from attending ANY sanctioned tournament and yes i think the provincial or national body should intervene and insist the player be allowed to enter the tournament. Having said that if the coach was fired for causes relating to Club property damage, theft, or physical abuse – these might be exceptions.

    Pierre when you write articles from parents or children consider the
    following – Why are independant private coaches not allowed to coach in
    Canada at private or public Clubs? From my standpoint this is a real issue. In my opinion its also why we don’t have strong Canadian players. If a player at a young age has a lot of potential, and they have money, why not allow them to practise with their own private coach at any facility as long as they are prepared to pay for the court time. This is just so so totally wrong.

  3. 3
    Merlyn Demos Says:

    Hey Jessie,
    The RD day sounds so interesting!!! I didn’t know that RD can work in so many difference places….I really think it is a great career, since more and more people are paying attention to their diet, and it is indeed saving people’s lives” :-) )) Keep up the good work !

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