Photo Credit to: Tennis Canada
Written by: Pierre ‘The Bear’ Lamarche
***Pierre Lamarche has been an outspoken proponent of Canadian tennis and how the sport should have a major place in the Canadian sport landscape. He believes this lofty ambition can only be achieved through the combination of success on the international professional competitive scene, with the required domestic infrastructure and a true partnership between Tennis Canada and the tennis private sector.***
Christophe Lambert has been hired as the new Head Coach for the Toronto National Junior Training Program. Lambert is a former junior and professional coach from France, having served as the head coach at one of Marseille’s top competition level tennis clubs and for the French Tennis Federation’s U14 program, and has been working in the Canadian tennis system since 2009. The training program, which is run out of the Rexall Centre, has been in place since 2009 and serves as a passageway for promising juniors into the full-time National Training Centre (NTC) in Montreal. Lambert will transition from his current position as director of high performance club and talent development with Tennis Canada.
ONcourt: Christophe why did you want this position specifically?
Christophe Lambert: I love being on the court and I just wanted to get back and work with athletes. I missed it the last four years.
OC: Tell us about your past experiences in the tennis world?
CL: First I was very lucky to have a great coach, Jean Paul Peste, who opened my mind to coaching high performance players. Very early on I was surrounded by good players and coaches and got the opportunity to run my own club. I then went to England worked as a private coach for a player who lived in Henley on Thames and that is where I met my wife. I started working with the boy, studied the LTA [British tennis] system and developed a project which was sponsored by the Oxford LTA. Former French National coach, Patrice Hagelauer was then the head of the LTA development department and he offered me the opportunity to work with the U18 National team for seven years. I followed my stint in England with two years in China working with their National team and their Davis Cup team.
OC: Then you came to Canada, how was that?
CL: My two years in the Atlantic was a big shock when I realized the actual level of play in the region. Going from Grand Slam tennis to the Atlantic championships in PEI was definitely an experience. But I must tell you I just loved it, the people were great and I just found Newfoundland to be an unbelievable place. It was a very interesting work opportunity
OC: What do you see as your biggest task in your new position?
CL: I really want to give a sense to everyone of what we are doing at the National Center
OC: How do you see the role of the private clubs and Academies in Ontario?
CL: The last two years I worked with the Academies and clubs. I have a good understanding of what they can or can’t do. What is most important is to do what is best for the players and that should benefit the private clubs and the national federation. I’m very excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to help develop promising young Canadian talent working in partnership and alongside the academy leaders, personal coaches, provincial programs and high performance clubs.
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