Editor’s note: Larry Jurovich owns three year-round facilities in BC’s lower mainland. He lives with his family in Vancouver, BC. His road to achieving the status of one of Canada’s most influential tennis leaders is a must-read.
BY PIERRE LAMARCHE
Larry Jurovich grew up as a multi-sport athlete outside Vancouver, BC. He played AAA hockey, was a provincial finalist in fastpitch, had a single-digit handicap in golf and even won a Fraser Valley curling championship!
You will notice the absence of tennis on the list. Larry did not pick up tennis until he was 17 years old, and only because the father of one of his hockey teammates owned the local tennis bubble. The bubble was brought down by snow one night, and the team that came out to shovel the snow off the bubble were all offered memberships. Larry enjoyed every sport he played, so he took the offer and soon worked his way up the men’s ladder and into competitive tennis.
Most importantly, that little tennis club in Langley, BC, was run by tennis director Wayne Elderton who was in charge of coaching certification for BC, and was a Tennis Canada T.D.C. This was important, as Wayne got Larry to take his instructor certification to coach summer camps. Within 18 months, Larry was a ‘Coach 2’ and within six years, he was a ‘Coach 3’. Larry was then introduced to Louis Cayer, who would do T.D.C. visits from time to time.
Although Larry did not come from a tennis background, he always knew he wanted to coach. He is passionate about helping people reach their full potential. With his experience in hockey, he always assumed he would become a hockey coach, but the world was opening doors to a career in tennis.
After three years working as an assistant coach in Langley, Larry made the big jump to Kelowna BC and became the Tennis Director of Gold’s Gym and racquet club. This was the first time Larry got to work with someone who would win a junior national championship and complete his coach 3. Looking for new challenges, Larry moved to Nanaimo for a two-year stint as the head of North Vancouver Island tennis for Pacific Sport, in which he also served as the Tennis Director of the Westwood Club in Nanaimo.
By this time, Larry had developed a strong relationship with mentor Louis Cayer who recommended he further his career by getting experience in Europe. Larry had the opportunity to take the role of Tennis Director at a brand-new facility in Dublin, Ireland. In 5 years, he built a program that developed numerous Davis Cup players. After his time in Ireland, Larry had a 2-year stint in Ontario. He served as the Tennis Director of the Ontario Racquet Club OTA U9 Program Leader and started to work in coach education as part of the Tennis Canada Coach 2 and Coach 3 program.
At this point, Larry had the opportunity to build on the work he had done running clubs and developing young players to start working internationally. He worked for three years as the Head of Coach Education and Performance Management for the L.T.A. and two years for Tennis China as a National Coach before coaching on tour privately for an additional four years.
After nearly a decade of mainly coaching abroad, Larry settled back in greater Vancouver and opened his first indoor tennis facility. The Tennis Centre in Surrey was built with the dream of developing professional players in the lower mainland – giving Larry a chance to work with his family every day after years of traveling up to 150,000 air miles per year. The Tennis Centre exceeded all expectations and very quickly Larry’s company was able to build a second facility in Coquitlam and a third in Langley.
Between the three facilities, Larry now owns and operates clubs with 17 indoor courts, six outdoor clay courts, and soon to be six outdoor hard courts. He is currently working on potential projects on two new sites and an extensive expansion to the original site in Surrey.
After six years in business, Larry decided on another new project and spent a year building his club management software. The new software is produced from a tennis manager/tennis coach perspective. It gives tennis players an easy-to-use way to book courts, register for programs etc. while making club management and administrator’s jobs more accessible with easy-to-use functionality, reporting, and communications. Larry is excited to bring this new software to tennis clubs worldwide.
Larry has never lost sight of the original goal through all this expansion. He has built his business to have all the infrastructure and human and financial resources to develop professional tennis players. He is still on-court coaching the program six days a week and involved in every aspect of player development at the centre with his performance partner, Tom Mclean.
Larry & Tom then went on to launch the P3 International Tennis Academy, which runs its academy out of all 3 of the Tennis Centre locations. They have already welcomed Chile, Columbia and Ireland players to train their home-grown players. They were pleased with the progress shown by their players, with four players finishing top 11 at junior nationals last year.
It was an essential first step of the program and the last step on a long journey Larry has taken from a small club in Langley, all over the world and back again towards the ultimate goal of producing professional tennis players in British Columbia.