Toronto, May 6, 2015 – Tennis Canada announced on Wednesday the recipients of the 2014 Building Tennis Communities (BTC) Excellence Awards, which are presented each year to recognize dedicated communities, individuals, and partners who have gone above and beyond to develop the game of tennis in their respective communities. BTCs are located in towns and cities across Canada and play a vital role in growing the game of tennis via partnerships with local leaders and associations.
The BTC Community of the Year has been awarded to Rivière-du-Loup, Que. and community champion Yvon Gosselin, who is making a long-term impact on the young people in his community thanks to his passion and dedication to tennis. After several years on the board, Gosselin was elected president of the Rivière-du-Loup Tennis Club in 2014. He helped more than 200 kids try Kid Tennis for the first time while also ensuring the community has enough tennis instructors to teach the kids by organizing a training course. Among the many other events and activities he has organized for his growing tennis community is a summer day camp with over 250 participants, Rogers Rookie Tour stops, and three junior summer leagues.
Annapolis Valley, N.S., led by community champion Joseph Memet, is the BTC Rookie of the Year. A burgeoning tennis community, Memet introduced 250 students to Kids Tennis with the “Tennis in Schools” program in 2014, with 49 kids continuing on in the after-school tennis program. The community also hosted two Rogers Rookie Tour events. More adults are playing tennis as well, with over 40 people signed up for Cardio Tennis and adult lessons and a group of seniors even using a banquet room in the winter with progressive tennis equipment. Overall, tennis court usage in the community is up, with the courts busy with families, kids, and adults alike on summer evenings and weekends.
Jimmy Lavoie of Casselman, Ont. is the leader of the 2014 Tennis Friendly Community of the Year. Devoted to tennis, Lavoie has surrounded himself with other passionate people dedicated to tennis in the small francophone town. Lavoie led the establishment of the Casselman Tennis Club in March 2014, which offered a multitude of activities such as classes and leagues during the summer and fall. Over 250 youth were introduced to tennis in schools, and many people have picked up the sport for the first time. The city of Casselman has since committed to resurfacing its two courts thanks to the community’s new and growing interest in tennis.
Charlotte Willis, of Fernie, B.C., is the recipient of the Community Partner of the Year award. A certified Tennis Canada Club Pro 1 with over 10 years of coaching experience, Willis moved to Fernie in 2011 and has been the driving force behind community tennis in the area ever since. Her wealth of experience has been invaluable, as she played at the top level of club division tennis in her native England and developed teaching programs for juniors from three years old to the high performance level. Under her guidance, Fernie now has an extensive junior development program with summer and winter options, as well as private and group lessons for adults of all abilities.
“Congratulations to all of our winning community champions and partners, all of whom are so deserving of these awards,” said Richard Crowell, director, community tennis, Tennis Canada. “Our BTC program is critical for bringing tennis into communities across the country, and all four of our winners are perfect examples of the positive change tennis can bring to a community. They exhibit immense passion and dedication for the sport, and are wonderful advocates for tennis. Thank you for all of your incredible efforts.”
The Tennis Canada Excellence Awards were introduced in 1982 and are presented annually to the country’s top tennis players, coaches, officials, communities, and administrators in recognition of their outstanding contributions made to Canadian tennis.