Eighth annual TPA award winners announced

Toronto, February 22, 2013 – Tennis Canada and the Tennis Professionals Association (TPA) announced the recipients of the 2012 TPA Excellence Awards on Friday at the Wilson TPA Awards breakfast as part of the TPA National Coaching Conference. These awards serve as an annual recognition of excellence in Canadian tennis and coaching development in the categories of Coach of the Year, Professional of the Year, Facility of the Year, Course Facilitator and Service to the Game.

The award for Coach of Year was presented to Robby Ménard of Quebec. The recipient of this honour must be a coach who has demonstrated the highest standards in the coaching of players and/or teams, displayed not only through their accomplishments, but in their character as well. Ménard’s most notable recent contribution has been the outstanding development of Marie-Alexandre Leduc and her terrific results in 2012 as she won the summer U16 Canadian National Championship. Ménard is also a Level 4 coach and the Director of AMG Academy in Montreal, Quebec.

British Columbia’s Hassan Askari was named Professional of the Year. This award is presented to the TPA professional who has displayed the highest standard of conduct and service to tennis both on and off the court. Askari has been a tennis professional and coach for the past 14 years. He is currently a co-owner of Global Tennis Academy in Coquitlam, British Columbia and acts as a Director of Junior Programs at People’s Court Tennis Club. Askari manages over 10 staff and is a certified Club Pro 1.

The Club at White Oaks in Ontario was recognized as the Facility of the Year. This award recognizes the tennis facility which demonstrates a commitment to the promotion of tennis and is supportive of the TPA by hiring only active and certified instructors, coaches, or club professionals. White Oaks has been a leader in racquet sports for the past 30 years and has developed a successful junior program which consistently has over 200 students per session. White Oaks has also opened its doors and has run numerous sanctioned tournaments.

The Course Facilitator Excellence Award was presented to Andy Sutton of Ontario, a TPA course facilitator who has consistently demonstrated excellence in the area of delivery of certification courses in Canada. Sutton’s outstanding work as Head Course Facilitator in Ontario and specifically in teaching numerous certification courses as well as developing other Course Facilitators is recognized. His outstanding dedication on and off the court has made him a great ambassador and role model for all coaches across Canada.

The award for Service to the Game was presented to Sharon Arnold of Ontario. This award is presented to a TPA certified member (coach/professional/community leader) who has provided significant leadership, excellence and dedication to tennis in Canada. Arnold has been a Club Pro, Junior and Adult Program instructor and has run a very successful junior program at the Scarborough Bluffs Tennis Club. She served in numerous capacities on the OTA (OLTA) council – now Board of Directors, holding the positions of Secretary, Treasurer and Education Committee Chair for more than 20 years. As Education Committee Chair, Arnold developed the first teaching manuals for use by physical education teachers and promoted tennis instruction in schools. Arnold serves on the Board of Directors and has been Chair of the Program Committee of the Doug Philpott Inner City Children’s Foundation, bringing the sport of tennis to disadvantaged youth since the Foundation’s inception.

“The TPA Excellence Awards recognize and honour those individuals whose hard work, devotion to the sport and accomplishments benefit the entire Canadian tennis and coaching community,” said Ari Novick, Director of Coaching Development for Tennis Canada.

The TPA also presented the annual Gary Caron Tennis Professionals Association Scholarship. The scholarship awards $2,000 and this year Nick Coutts of British Columbia was the recipient. The scholarship recognizes a tennis coach (under 30 years of age) that displays the potential to reach the highest level of coaching and teaching excellence in Canada. The award will provide a scholarship to offset costs of professional development courses and seminars, including international, national and provincial conferences or seminars and/or certification courses approved by Tennis Canada.

The TPA presented another $2,000 coaching scholarship, the inaugural Paul & Joyce Chapnick Under 10 Development Coaching Scholarship. The first recipient of this award is Jean-David Blanchet of Quebec. This scholarship will be presented annually to a TPA coach (35 years or younger) that has demonstrated excellence in the under 10 player development area. Similar to the Gary Caron TPA Scholarship, this new award will also provide a scholarship to offset costs of professional development opportunities and/or certification courses across the country.

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