Many of the best tennis players in Canada all share the same qualities: courage, discipline, character, effort and perseverance. As young players, many also needed a guiding hand in finding proper training and a competitive environment to achieve success.
Tennis Canada recognizes the demands of an aspiring Canadian tennis player. We have assembled an array of financial assistance packages to assist our top players with costs related to High Performance development. This includes private Tennis Canada/donor grants, Sport Canada Athlete Assistance Program (carding), performance standard grants, U12 training grants and wild card assistance program. This section provides an overview of these programs and highlights the criteria and previous recipients of Tennis Canada assistance.
****Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic all programs listed below (with the exception of carding) and the High Performance Handbook are outdated. They will be revised and reposted later in the year.
For an overall look at the programming, assistance and structure available to young Canadian players, please consult our High Performance Handbook.
- Long Term Athlete Develwopment
- Performance Standards
- Wild Card Assistance
- Wild Card Selection Committees
- JUNIOR NATIONALS PARTICIPATION POLICY
There are countless young Canadian tennis players out there on our nation’s courts who can hit a blistering serve or a cannon of a backhand. But it takes more than natural talent to make it on the tennis circuit.
That’s where the Long Term Athletic Development plan comes in.
In an effort to foster both the love of the game and the talent of someone who could very well be tomorrow’s rising star, the plan is set out in 8 stages. Throughout these stages, young players learn that physical literacy is the foundation for being active, healthy and for achieving personal best performances at all levels of competition. In other words, even if they never make it to Wimbledon, we teach them how to get the most out of the game and how to play at their best. Our goal is to ensure that all who pick up the game have an opportunity to enjoy the lifetime benefits of playing.
Consult the complete Long Term Athletic Development Plan
Consult the Mini LTAD
Tennis Canada Performance Standard Fund (for elite players training outside of Tennis Canada’s full time NTC training program)
To provide financial grants & specified services & benefits to elite player who have declined an invitation to participate in Tennis Canada’s full time National Training Centre program.
The package to be provided to each athlete will be determined by the V.P. High Performance, in consultation with High Performance staff. Grants, services & benefits related to this program will be determined in September each year & reviewed in January and May each year.
To be eligible to receive support, players (must) meet their published Performance Standards (GOLD/SILVER or BRONZE) during the applicable competitive season (September– August).
Grants & Services available:
- Tournament Travel Grants (for tours conducted with personal coach) – the following dollar amounts will be allotted to each player. (U14 – $10,000 o U16 – $15,000 o U18 – $20,000)
- Access to wildcards subject to meeting published criteria.
- Access to Sport Canada’s Carding program subject to meeting published criteria.
- Drop-in training privileges to National Training Centre Program.
- Invitation to participate in three (3) National Training Centre Tours (up to 70% of the costs may be paid for by Tennis Canada). Tours to be determined by the NTC Coaching staff.
Procedure to access funding to offset tournament expenses:
- Funding allotted remains at Tennis Canada & is payable upon receipt and approval of eligible expenses.
- Players are required to have their annual competitive plan approved in September and reviewed in January and May each year in order to be reimbursed for those tournaments.
- Players must agree to complete one (1) medical examination (in Toronto).
- Players must agree to complete two (2) fitness evaluations (in Montreal or Toronto).
- Players will receive a travel allowance of $900 per tournament held within Canada, and $1800 per tournament held outside of Canada.
- This money will be deducted from their individual player accounts held at Tennis Canada. Players are to contact the Director, High Performance to access their account.
- Players may receive reimbursement for the following events: ETA (series 1 and 2 events) ITF events, Pro Circuit events and WTA/ATP events.
- Note this funding may not be used to offset the costs associated with training.
In addition, players playing full-time on the professional tour and meeting the published Transition Year Standards are eligible to access transition assistance.
Consult the complete Tennis Canada’s Performance Standards.
Many international players, promising Canadian youngsters and established Davis/Fed Cup team members have received wild cards into either the main draw or qualifying tournament at Canada’s international men’s and women’s championships. When a player’s ranking is not high enough to gain entry into a professional event run by Tennis Canada, an Events or Player Development Wild Card may be provided to him/her to enhance the event or meet Tennis Canada’s Player Developments long term objectives.
- Rogers Cup (Men’s and Women’s)
- Challengers events
- ITF junior events
- Open events
To provide a Wild Card distribution system capable of meeting our stated national team while respecting our values of excellence, accountable, equity and fairness. These guidelines will be capable of adapting to unpredictable circumstances.
The success of the Rogers Cup Men’s and Women’s events is important to ensure Player Development funding. Thus, the events department will determine international Wild Cards to enhance and ensure a healthy bottom line for these events, albeit full efforts are made to ensure spots are available for Canadian players. The Player Development department will determine the order of merit for Canadian players vying for Wild Cards.
Player Development has established the long-term objective of cultivating an environment of excellence by developing a strong national team program and a system capable of developing Grand Slam, Olympic & Paralympic singles champions. Wild Cards will be used as tools to achieve these long-term objectives
Wild Card Allocation:
- Rogers Cup Men’s and Women’s events Wild Cards to international players.
- Development wild cards to Canadian players. A wild card committee (decision making) will be developed to assist with the decision-making process.
Wild Card Selection Guidelines
To be eligible for a Player Development wild card, a player must:
- Be a Canadian Citizen on the date the wild card selection committee meets.
- If offered, sign a Davis / Fed Cup or National Team Player Agreement with Tennis Canada.
- If asked, make him/herself available to represent Canada in all ties during the calendar year in which the wild card is being allocated.
- If internationally ranked, enter* the event through the appropriate governing body;
- Be in good standing with Tennis Canada, his/her respective Provincial Tennis Association and the official governing body of the event (ATP, WTA, ITF).
- Be physically healthy, fit and pursue a full-time career. ***
- Have given his/her best effort in all matches which he/she has represented Canada and/or in which he/she has received a wild card from Tennis Canada. If any player fails to give his/her best effort, as determined by the wild card selection committee, they will forfeit the right to a Tennis Canada wild card for a twelve month period.
*- As a general rule, players must enter events to be eligible for wild cards. The spirit of this entry guideline is to ensure no Wild Cards are “wasted” due to players not entering events in a timely manner. Exceptions will be made to the above rule due to unforeseen circumstances and modifications to schedules. All exceptions will be determined by the wild card selection committee on a case basis.
*** – Defined as a commitment to compete full time during the calendar year. Players will confirm their intentions by developing and submitting a competitive schedule (upon request). This schedule must be approved by the Wild Card selection committee.
All Wild Cards will be awarded by the Wild Card Selection Committees.
Rogers Cup, Masters Series and Challengers:
- Vice-President, High Performance
- Davis Cup Captain or Fed Cup Captain
- Men’s or Women’s National Coach
- Director, High Performance
- Vice-President, High Performance
- Men’s or Women’s National Coach
- Director, High Performance
- The Wild Card Selection Committee will consider the guidelines below. Please be aware that meeting these guidelines does not automatically guarantee a wild card. The committee has latitude to use subjectivity in its final decisions for wildcard selection.
- Representing Canada
- Meeting Performance Standards (juniors, transition and college)
- Rankings: ATP/WTA/college/juniors and recent results
- Other: History and excellence
- Singles ranking = singles wild card
- Doubles ranking = doubles wild card
- The Wild Card selection committee will decide doubles pairings for all events.
Player Development has established the long-term objective of cultivating an environment of excellence by developing a strong national team program and a system capable of developing Grand Slam, Olympic and Paralympic singles champions.
Wild cards will be used as tools to achieve these long-term objectives. Other than Rogers Cup Wild Cards, all other Wild Cards will be communicated 3-5 days ahead of the start of the event.
**Please note that applications are open until March 1, 2021 for the 2021/2022 Sport Canada Athlete Assistance (carding) program. Take note of two key changes in the Sport Canada AAP criteria due to the COVID-19 pandemic as follows:
- Junior Nationals Participation Policy: waived for 1 year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 competitive calendar
- Player Results: for junior players the audited results achieved during the 2019 & 2018 season will be used
To be considered please send the following information to Janet Petras at email@example.com by March 1, 2021:
- Junior Players: completed Junior Results Template for 2018 and 2019 along with links to websites verifying each tournament result
- Pro Players: completed Pro Results Template for 2019 along with links to websites verifying the 2019 year-end rankings
Sport Canada Carding – Athlete Assistance Program (AAP)
Sport Canada Carding Levels:
Tennis Canada will nominate players annually (based on the enclosed criteria) for direct funding by Sport Canada. Support comes in the form of a monthly payment from Sport Canada that goes directly to the players. Eligibility for the Carding assistance program begins in a player’s second year U14. Players are nominated for a twelve-month period under this program.
Tennis Canada provides programs and benefits for high performance athletes who participate in the Junior Nationals and meet designated performance standards. Details on the programs, benefits and performance standards are located in the High Performance Handbook.
Adhering to the Junior Nationals Participation policy is a requirement to be eligible for the programs and benefits listed below:
- Wild Card Assistance
- Sponsorship Assistance
- International Tours
- International Team Event Selections
- National Training Camps
- Full-time Montreal NTC or NJTP Programs in the regions
- Sport Canada Carding Program
Junior Nationals Participation Policy – U12, U14, U16, U18 Athletes
Athletes may enter the system and become eligible for program and benefit consideration after competing in either the Indoor or Outdoor Junior Nationals. Once in the system and receiving benefits athletes must adhere to the Junior Nationals Participation Policy outlined below. In addition, athletes receiving Sport Canada carding must maintain eligibility throughout the entire yearly carding cycle by meeting the Junior Nationals Participation policy requirements.
Participation Policy: Athletes must make themselves available and compete in both the Indoor and Outdoor Junior National Championships in any age division annually unless they apply for and are granted an exemption.
Athletes may be eligible for an exemption from meeting the Junior Nationals Participation Policy for reasons that may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Injury or illness
- Family bereavement
- Representing Canada at a major international event at the same time as the Junior Nationals
- Unforeseen circumstances
Also, previous Junior National Champions who have met the published Performance Levels (U12, or 1st year U14) or the SILVER published Performance Standards (2nd yr. U14 through U18) as outlined in the High Performance Handbook will be strongly considered for an exemption should they apply.
The Tennis Canada high performance staff has been granted the authority to use discretion while applying the guidelines above due to the ever-changing nature of our sport and the difficultly in capturing all scenarios.
Exemption Request Process
Injury/Illness: Players are required to submit a written medical certificate clearly indicating that participation in the Junior Nationals is not possible and outlining the injury, prognosis, and recovery plan. The medical certificate is to be reviewed and signed by designated Tennis Canada high performance staff prior to submission.
Representing Canada/Family Bereavement/Unforeseen Circumstance: Players are to submit a written request outlining the circumstances to be considered. Players training at the Montreal NTC or NJTP (BC)/NJTP (ON) Programs are also to advise one of the national coaches.
All written exemption requests are to be submitted to Janet Petras one (1) month prior to the Indoor or Outdoor Junior Nationals in question. The requests will be reviewed and finalized by Tennis Canada’s high performance staff.