In the late 1980’s, Kenneth D. Sinclair, the tournament Director for the Canadian Open was responsible for creating a print newspaper to market the Open. The first editor for ONcourt was a former top junior and collegiate player, Pat Sinclair, his daughter. Under her management the little paper quickly became the voice of Canadian tennis.
Fourhand II, a tennis management company, responsible for the creation, design and operation of a WTA event at Jarry Park in Montreal [the start of the present Rogers Event] became the publishers and owners of ONcourt in the early 1990’s. Tom Tebbutt, long time tennis writer for the Globe and Mail and Tennis Canada, followed Sinclair as the editor. The paper grew in scope covering squash as well as national and international tennis. Canadian content and the marketing of the Canadian game became an important component of the paper.
ONcourt, through its editorials, also became a vehicle for discussions, interactions and change. The paper was used to create a new landscape for tennis development in this country. Many of the editorials dealt with issues which are as relevant today as back then: the need for more players, courts and especially tournaments, the need for better players and coaches, the need for cooperation between the private and public sector [most important] and the need for financing.
Tom Mayenknecht, the communications director for Tennis Canada succeeded Tebbutt as the editor of ONcourt. He glamorized the Canadian game, Tennis Canada and its players at a time where Canada had success on the international scene. In the mid 1990’s economic and political changes within the sport and the print industry led to a difficult period for tennis related projects in Canada.
Fourhand II and ONcourt disappeared from the Canadian tennis landscape in the mid 1990’s as financial survival for the Canadian Open became the major focus of Tennis Canada. The loss of sponsorship money from the tobacco companies, the increase in prize money from the ATP and WTA coupled with the need for a new facility at York University, basically relegated all other aspects, especially player development to the back burners.
In 2007 plans were made by All-Canadian Sports Management Inc. owner of the ONcourt name to resurrect the tennis platform, through an ezine concept. The ezine became an interesting source of different viewpoints which was brought about by the creation of regional centers and their relation to the private sector. In the early 2010’s the platform became more of a divisive component of the Canadian Tennis scene and the then editor, Pierre Lamarche decided to stop the publishing for political reasons.
In 2020, ONcourt will now be a communication vehicle which will respect the collaboration and thoughts of Canadian Tennis Coaches involved in player development. We want to develop a marketing vehicle for coaches who can contribute to the education of all involved in tennis player development. OnCourt will create an outlet where Canadian coaches can share information and thoughts to make this great game even better in our great country.
ONcourt hopes to be a small catalyst that will create an under swell of support for the Canadian coaches involved in player development
Coaches, please help us grow this partnership, so we can create a step to formalize our profession now and in the future.