The annual TPA national coaching conference was held on Thursday at Toronto’s Aviva Centre, and several important figures in the Canadian tennis landscape were honoured for their service to the sport with TPA Excellence Awards.
Adriano Fuorivia, former coach of Junior Wimbledon champion Denis Shapovalov, received the 2016 Coaching Excellence Award at this year’s ceremony. Ontario’s Fuorivia is a certified Coach 2 Freelance and worked with Shapovalov for over five years, including during the rising star’s run to the Wimbledon title and his 2015 Junior US Open doubles championship with Felix Auger-Aliassime. Fuorivia also guided Shapovalov as he captured a Rogers Cup first-round victory over Nick Kyrgios, a Junior Davis Cup championship, two U18 national titles, and three Futures singles titles.
Eric Knoester of British Columbia is this year’s recipient of the Club Professional Excellence Award. At Victoria’s Panorama Recreation Centre, Knoester oversees four staff members to manage six courts in the community centre. As a certified Coach 2, he spends over 20 hours a week on the court, but his contribution to the sport goes far beyond just serving the people of Victoria. Each year Knoester runs a professional women’s tennis event and a junior ITF event on site, while still always ensuring his doors are open for hosting TPA professional development events.
Ontario’s Jeff McCarrol was the winner of the Service to the Game Excellence Award. McCarrol currently serves as the CEO at the Ontario Racquet Club, after being hired on as Director of Tennis in 2000. Now, McCarrol is responsible for the majority of work on the Club Pro 2 and Club Pro 3 certification courses. In addition to his work at ORC, he has also held a position on the TPA Advisory Committee since 2000, has coordinated two-day workshops in conjunction with Rogers Cup, and has also hosted countless professional development events and TPA fundraising activities on-site at the ORC over the years.
The 2016 Course Facilitator Excellence Award was presented to Simon Bartram of Ontario. Bartram is a Course Facilitator for the Coach 3 certification program, and has been an instrumental part of Tennis Canada’s high performance coach education team for the past 15 years. Bartram has continued to develop his leadership role over the years and has recently become a course facilitator for the Club Pro 3 course. His vast experience as a player, as tennis director for the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club and as a high performance coach to a number of Canada’s top players has contributed to enhancing the quality of the content and delivery of coach education programs.
The Paul & Joyce Chapnick Under 10 Development Coaching Development Scholarship was awarded to Yannick Pelletier of Quebec. Pelletier was recognized for his work as a certified Coach 3 working at Academie Herisset Bordeleau in Quebec City. He has also accumulated over 15 years of coaching experience, first beginning with recreational and adult players, and he now works with some of the top junior players in the province. He oversees all competitive athletes at Hérisset Brodeleau Académie de tennis and has led Team Québec at the Coupe Leblanc and Canadian national championships since 2012.
Lan Yao-Gallop of Alberta received the inaugural Rene Simpson-Collins Excellence Award for outstanding female coaching, which is accompanied by a $2,000 scholarship to help offset costs of training and development. As Tennis Alberta’s most highly certified female coach, Yao-Gallop is a certified Coach 3 and High Performance Mentor Program graduate who currently works at Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton. She leads U12 squads on international summer and winter tours, and spends over 30 hours per week on court training athletes, in addition to traveling extensively with players to training camps and tournaments throughout the year. Yao-Gallop continually reinforces the values of fair play, professionalism, honesty, integrity, courage, pride and passion.
The Gary Caron Scholarship was presented to Francis Foisy of Quebec, who is currently working as a certified Club Pro 1 at Tennis 13. Foisy is enrolled in the Coach 2 training course to strengthen his focus of sending as many players as possible to Tennis Canada’s national training programs. This year, Foisy was the coach of both finalists who competed in the U16 outdoor nationals. These same players also won a Grade 4 ITF junior title in doubles under Foisy’s leadership and guidance.
Two facilities were also recognized with Excellence Awards for their outstanding contributions to the sport and their community this year. Richmond Country Club was the winner of the Year-Round Facility Excellence Award. Recent renovations have updated the club, including the addition of a four-court bubble for year-round use. In addition to hosting the 2016 Tennis BC Conference by TPA, the club has also hosted a men’s professional ITF Futures event for the past three years. When not hosting premier tournaments, Richmond Country Club also runs programs open to the public, and hosts several Future Star events, along with provincials for Tennis BC. About 80-100 children have taken advantage of the weekly junior programming, and the club boasts 250+ tennis members.
Finally, Okanagan Mission Tennis Club is the recipient of the Seasonal Facility Excellence Award. The club has six outdoor courts and all coaching pros are Tennis Canada certified to serve approximately 380 members. Okanagan Mission Tennis Club runs one to three sanctioned tournaments each year, including the Miele Provincial Championships. They also assist in running “try it” days at local schools, and currently have 120 children participating in organized leagues across six schools. In addition to its work in developing the game in the community, Okanagan Mission Tennis Club is also recognized for its outstanding philanthropic efforts. The club also makes their facility available throughout the season to other fundraising efforts such as KGH Hospital Foundation Charity tournament and the UBCO Charity tournament which assists the university team to cover costs such as travel, uniforms and indoor court time for hosting other teams and practice.
Dedicated to growing the profession of tennis coaching in Canada, the TPA was introduced by Tennis Canada in 2004 to assist the nation’s certified instructors, coaches, and club professionals, and its membership has grown each year to over 3,300 people. For more information on the TPA, please visit tpacanada.com.