Tennis Canada announced Tuesday the creation of two annual scholarship awards in honour of the late Rene Simpson-Collins. Simpson-Collins was an influential member of the Canadian tennis community for years as a player, coach and Fed Cup captain, and helped shape the current generation of Canadian female players with her strength, determination, courage and passion for the sport. She passed away in October 2013 after a year-long battle with brain cancer.
The Rene Simpson-Collins Excellence Awards will recognize one outstanding female junior player and one outstanding female coach each year. The recipients of each award will receive a $2,000 scholarship that will assist in off-setting various costs related to their training and development needs. Selection committees will be assembled to review deserving candidates and select the eventual recipient for each award.
“These are two areas of the sport that were extremely important to Rene during her career,” said Hatem McDadi, senior vice-president, tennis development, Tennis Canada. “Rene was a proud Canadian who loved representing her country as a player and a coach. She was a source of inspiration and an outstanding role model to her family, friends and players to whom she imparted her values. These scholarships will honour the memory and legacy of one of Canada’s greatest ambassadors by rewarding the values and traits that were inherent in her game-style and teaching.”
The recipient of the Rene Simpson-Collins Junior Excellence Award will be a female junior tennis player displaying potential to reach the highest levels internationally and/or nationally. She must have significant international and/or national results and display a commitment of excellence towards becoming one of the best players in the world and representing Canada on the world stage. Recipients must also espouse the values of fair play, professionalism, honesty, integrity, courage, pride and passion to make their dreams come true.
The recipient of the Rene Simpson-Collins Coaching Excellence Award will be a female tennis coach displaying potential to reach the highest levels of coaching and teaching excellence in Canada. She must display a commitment of excellence towards the coaching profession and work full-time or towards a full-time career. Recipients must also espouse the values of fair play, professionalism, honesty, integrity, courage, pride and passion to make their dreams come true. This scholarship will be administered through the Tennis Professionals Association (TPA) as part of their annual awards.
The first recipient of both awards will be selected in early 2017 based on 2016 results and accomplishments. Full criteria for selection and nomination will be circulated in the coming weeks.