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.***
Canadian tennis is at an all-time high in terms of international performance and public perception of the popularity and growth of the sport. Tennis Canada’s strategy to develop world class players has had resounding success:
So why have any concerns? This situation has occurred before. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Canadian tennis looked like this:
Michibata, Wostenholme, Nestor, Lareau and Connell
And then what happened?
A series of events occurred which made the designed Tennis Canada plan impossible to continue. The result of these events was a serious financial downturn in Tennis Canada operations which of course was/is responsible for the majority of funding for tennis development opportunities. These events were:
So what occurred?
What are the issues now?
Besides the changes in Tennis Canada’s leadership there are other issues which create concerns and that will certainly require creative solutions:
Does this mean that we, because we are all part of Tennis Canada, should worry about our future and our goal of making tennis a major sport in our Canadian landscape?
I have confidence that solutions will be found. However, I cannot forget how many of our hearts were broken in the early 1990’s when we saw a great plan which was cost effective and supported by great people and results to be pushed aside due to financial constraints and changes in overall direction.
Let’s pray history does not repeat itself, this Canadian success is too much fun. Good luck Tennis Canada. May you find the people required to develop the future vision of the sport, supported by the proper financial resources in a harmonious environment. It is a great opportunity; the acceptance of the inevitability of change can give us hope for a dynamic balance between opposite views and the evolution of a new age for Canadian Tennis.