Officially born in 1990, the Toronto Lesbian & Gay Tennis Association has become one of the premier local tennis organizations in the city of Toronto. And with summer right around the corner, the group is prepping for another busy season.
Maintaining a full schedule of events year-round, the TLGTA’s first big event of the outdoor season is its registration and membership drive this Sunday, April 12. One of the main activities members partake in through the summer months is weekly social tennis, held at Thorncliffe Park Tennis Club. The annual Canadian Gay Open, which attracts participants from around the world, takes place in May and the association will also have a special evening at Rogers Cup in Toronto. Anyone is welcome to join the TLGTA.
“The most common question we get is do we accept beginners or people with little experience,” said Bobby Nijjar, who has been a member since 2007 and president since 2013. “We take anyone of any experience. You just need to know the rules of the game and be able to maintain somewhat of a rally. You don’t have to be spectacular; we have a lot of beginners, and a lot of players at all different levels.”
Nijjar ultimately hopes to see the TLGTA grow even more in the future, holding events all throughout the Greater Toronto Area and connecting more with other tennis organizations. The TLGTA has already grown exponentially in recent years alone.
“We had about 130 people that first year I joined and now we’re over 220,” Nijjar said. “Every year, more people keep coming and it keeps expanding. We have good word of mouth and people have been recruiting their friends. It’s not just for the LGBTQ community, we’ve had some of our straight friends and allies join as well and it’s been growing really well.”
An advocate for tennis in the city of Toronto, the TLGTA also was part of a group that presented the “Developing a Toronto Tennis Excellence Programming Strategy” to city council last month in the aims of increasing and improving Toronto’s tennis capacity.
“We are definitely interested in supporting the grassroots level of tennis and improving tennis in Toronto for everyone,” Nijjar said. “We want to help make Toronto a tennis Mecca down the road.”
For more information on the Toronto Lesbian & Gay Tennis Association, please visit www.tlgta.ca.