On the eve of the first-ever Tennis Day in Canada, over 100 children from two local elementary and middle schools descended upon Toronto’s Aviva Centre on Friday morning to participate in a special #TennisDay lead-up event.
Joined by some special celebrity guests and members of the Toronto media, the kids participated in a variety of tennis drills and games, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the facilities, guided by certified coaches and Tennis Canada staff.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) May 12, 2017
The kids, ranging from Grades 4 – 8, were each given their own Wilson racquet to use throughout the day, and were able to take their new equipment home as a keepsake.
Former TFC star Dwayne De Rosario swung by to check out the celebrations and even picked up a racquet himself as he took to the courts and challenged some youngsters to rally.
Hosted in the Aviva Centre’s indoor Centre of Excellence, groups of the children were taken through a circuit that included basic practice and technique, team tennis, hardest serve radar, and a “Beat the Pro” challenge. They were also given a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, home to Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, and channelled their inner-star with a walk through the player tunnel to Centre Court.
Friday morning’s activities aimed to encourage participation on May 13 as the country comes together to celebrate tennis.
On Saturday, Canadians from across the country are encouraged to pick up a racquet. Supported by Tennis Canada, the Provincial Tennis Associations, and the Tennis Professionals Association, Tennis Day in Canada will be a national festival for the sport and aims to make tennis more accessible than ever with over 150 clubs offering free courts and programming on the occasion.
A 2016 study conducted by Charlton Insights showing that 6.5 million Canadians played tennis at least once in the past year, an increase of 14 per cent from 2015.
People of all ages, experience levels, and abilities can take part on May 13 whether it’s their first time hitting a tennis ball or they’re regular players. With free activities run by TPA-certified coaches and equipment provided, it’s easier than ever for Canadians to try the sport out, learn just how fun it can be, and reap the social, physical, and mental benefits of playing tennis.
A complete listing of participating clubs from 11 provinces and territories can be found at tennisdayincanada.com, where interested individuals, families, and friends can find a location near them.