Written by: Neil Parker
After a tennis scholarship at North Eastern Oklahoma University, Neil began his coaching career at Oak Bay Rec Centre in Victoria. Since then, he has coached at Rockland Sport in Montreal, Blue Mountain Racquet Club, Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club, The Arbutus Club and worked as the Head Tennis Professional for the New Westminster Tennis Club, North Shore Winter Club as well as the Tennis Director for the University of British Columbia. Neil has also coached internationally for PBI.
Over the last nine years Neil has trained hundreds of coaches as a Tennis Canada course facilitator. Neil developed a DVD with Wayne Elderton that was rated the #1 DVD in the world by the ITF for developing young players. The DVD is now the centre piece of the first level of Canadian certification. He produces videos for Tennis Canada, USTA and has licensed pro footage to Transworld Sport. As a pioneer in the use of video and tennis, he has produced projects such as the world’s first interactive video tennis lesson and the world’s first tennis instructional app for the iPhone/iPod touch. Neil’s web site gbatennis.blogspot.ca has more information.
The Odlum Brown Vancouver Open (July 30th – August 7th) was a successful tournament for Canadians with a resurgent Aleksandra Wozniak taking the women’s title and BC boy Vasek Pospisil losing to eventual champion James Ward of Great Britain in the semis. Other Canadians in the draw were Erik Chvojka beating fellow Canadian Pierre-Ludovic Duclos in the first round and Steven Diez losing to Grega Zemlja of Slovenia in round one. On the women’s side Sharon Fichman, Eugenie Bouchard, Heidi El Tabakh lost in the first round with Gabriela Dabrowski bowing out to Irina Falconi of the US in the second round. Stephanie Dubois tried to battle through a leg injury but retired in the quarters to Julia Cohen of the US.
The Vancity Open is Canada’s second largest tournament with this years prize money growing to $200,000. The tournament is very popular among the players and I’ve witnessed how the event has helped Canadians like Rebecca Marino, Stephanie Dubois and Vasek Pospisil mature into tour professionals. There’s talk of making the Vancouver Open a full ATP/WTA tour event. Next time you’re in Vancouver in late July, check out the Vancouver Open at the beautiful Hollyburn Country Club.