Ricky Twynam: Québec Tennis Issues Brought to the Fore

Placing major provincial selection events during final exams and minister exams. How does this encourage participation? I have 45 competitive kids that will NOT be playing the 1st or 2nd selection event towards summer nationals due to tennis Quebec's poor planning. All kids are currently ranked players in the province of Quebec. The Commission des entraineurs voted and pushed back nationals by two to three weeks finally, yet the provincial selection events are scheduled at the same time as last year or even sooner than last year. Weird. Also after our meeting a year ago on the "competitive structure" we had identified that we have a great volume of participation in the 10's, 12's and 14's and then what happens?

Written by: Ricky Twynam

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***Ricky Twynam starting playing sports at the age of 4. At 13 years old, after excelling in baseball and basket-ball, Ricky began to play tennis. His uncle and coach, Alex Shields initiated Ricky to the game that has now become his passion. He competed at the provincial and national level and was ranked in the Canadian top 5, in the category 18 years and under. Then began his professional journey.

Ricky Twynam has traveled far and wide from Canada, starting in Europe where he got his first taste of professional level tennis. He had the opportunity to train with the world’s best; The Spaniards. Their philosophy to training was something he had never seen before. The intensity, work ethic and “never quit” attitude were what made them one of the world’s most dominant forces. Still today, they represent a great source of inspiration for Ricky’s coaching. Ricky also trained at the Bill Adams’s tennis academy in Florida, which was his home base during the years he competed.

He trained and competed with players such as Marat Safin, Igor Andreev, Dinara Safina, Frank Dancevic and David Ferrer, to name only a few.. He has competed across the United States, South America, Central America, the Caribbeans and Europe in both doubles and singles, accumulating ATP points. After gaining knowledge and experience from many renowned professionals, Ricky returned to Canada with a new dream: helping our young Canadian athletes develop and evolve as athletes, and as individuals. Ricky now shares his passion for sport and the game of tennis with students from all backgrounds, always aiming at helping them finding the best within themselves.***

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This is an e-mail that Ricky sent in frustration of the state of the current tournament structure and player development policies in Quebec which was sent earlier this week:

As you are aware Miss D’agostino has shown frustration towards the rule and explanation given on why Josh Mosseri cannot join our team for the CDT event.

I also have many frustrations… So I take the opportunity to express them.

1. Tournament planning in our province.

Placing major provincial selection events during final exams and minister exams. How does this encourage participation? I have 45 competitive kids that will NOT be playing the 1st or 2nd selection event towards summer nationals due to tennis Quebec’s poor planning. All kids are currently ranked players in the province of Quebec. The Commission des entraineurs voted and pushed back nationals by two to three weeks finally, yet the provincial selection events are scheduled at the same time as last year or even sooner than last year. Weird. Also after our meeting a year ago on the “competitive structure” we had identified that we have a great volume of participation in the 10’s, 12’s and 14’s and then what happens? We have no volume in the 16’s and 18’s category and tennis Quebec still has no idea why? There are no futures/satellites or money tournaments anymore. Its obvious that the emphasis is put on the 14 and under instead of the 18 and under. There remains a huge conflict between the LTAD (long term athlete development) and the way we have structured our events and where we put our attention. We have 12 girls signed up for the 18 and under 1st selection event. I have six girls in my club that can’t play due to their school schedule and only their school schedule.

2. Ranking system in our province.

We remain the only province in Canada to continue to use this negative head to head system, instead of a round by round ranking that will encourage participation. You don’t seem to want to deal with facts. Fact is our system is discouraging and negative. We went from the number one province in Canada to three or four in my eyes. After attending over 20 different national events in the last seven years in all categories 12, 14, 16 and 18’s. I have noticed and identified our issues. Our issue is a lack of leaders. A lack of vision and most important when dealing with sport and children a lack of openness and humanism.

3. Tennis Quebec. What is your role and objective as a federation? What is your vision and mission? I have read it on your website but I would like you to clarify with me as I feel it must have changed.

4. Fees paid to tennis Quebec annually.

I pay 5000$ and more a year to tennis Quebec to be affiliated. The only reason I pay this is because apparently my players can’t compete in the province of Quebec if I don’t…. Where does this money go and how come my academy can’t vote at the commission des entraineurs when Orize is obviously a crucial partner for tennis Quebec financially and physically. I was told it takes a coach level three to have the right to vote. What does a coach level three have to do with a director or president of an association?

5. CDT protection list.

What is the purpose of this? This is an amateur event and not a professional event. So why would I not be able to play a player from my rec programs? I recently spoke to David and Francois concerning the sign up of my 10 and under and 12 and under teams. I had two boys and girls in the 10’s and same in the 12’s. One girl from each category was not on my “list de protection” because they joined us late in the season or showed interest to compete only late in the season. They don’t come from other clubs. They started from scratch with Orize or were independent players that were playing with there parents due to lack of funding. Because of this decision there are six kids being penalized. See example.

10’s boys / girls

    1. Xavier Jansen
    2. Louis Phillipe Gauvin
    3. Justine Chartier
    4. Victoria Petkova (not on list)

12’s boys / girls

    1. Charles Normandin
    2. Felix Morin
    3. Mathilde Tran
    4. Anna Fokin (not on list)

So as you can see, due to this there will be six sad children who will never understand your political decision as they just want to play tennis and have fun.

Thank you for your attention on this subject and I will be awaiting your response/explanation to my questions.

Best regards,

Ricky Twynam
President
Orize Sports Management Inc. / Gestion Sportive Orize Inc.

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