Program aims to make tennis even more accessible, invites municipalities to apply for a share of a $3 million investment in community court infrastructure.
Tennis Canada and National Bank announce the launch of the National Bank Play Your Court Program, an ambitious, first-of-its kind, grant program that aims to help many communities revitalize their outdoor public tennis courts. Funded by National Bank, the initiative makes available $3 million that will be directed to more than 100 courts across the country by 2030. The first four courts to be revitalized are located at Morris Kerbel Park, in Brampton, Ontario.
“We’re excited about this new initiative with our long-time partner Tennis Canada. The revitalization of public courts will have a significant positive impact in many communities across the country and will allow thousands of tennis enthusiasts to benefit from quality facilities in their neighbourhoods. We’re convinced that providing an inviting environment will also encourage many new players to take up the sport and enjoy its benefits,” said Jean-François Hanczakowski, Senior Vice-President, Client Experience and Digital at National Bank.
Over the past decade, the popularity of tennis has increased in part thanks to the achievements of players like Eugenie Bouchard, Bianca Andreescu, Félix Auger-Aliassime, Leylah Annie Fernandez, Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic.
“Canadians of all ages and abilities should be able to make their way to a local court knowing they’ll find a quality tennis court and environment where they can be active with family and friends,” says Michael Downey, President at Tennis Canada. “This project is an important part of our long-term athlete development efforts and commitment to making the sport even more accessible than it already is. We are grateful to National Bank for its vision and dedication to the fun, wholesome and safe sport that we love.”
The program is part of a 10-year partnership between Tennis Canada and National Bank that was announced in February 2021. Elements of this corporate partnership, considered the largest in the history of the sport in Canada, include multifaceted sponsorships of the National Bank Open tournaments in Toronto and Montreal, National Bank Challenger Tour and regional events. It also features support of provincial tennis associations and the Tennis Professionals Association (TPA), a long-term gender equity strategy, and the popular National Bank Little Aces talent recruitment and development program.
“The value of this partnership is priceless,” says Eugène Lapierre, Senior Vice-President – Quebec, Tennis Canada. “The truth is these programs leave a longstanding and positive impact on people from all walks of life, their families and communities. This is the awesome power of sport, as well as partnerships with caring, visionary companies. On behalf of our tennis community, thank you National Bank for your commitment to this sport.”
Municipalities can submit their grant applications as of October 2022 as part of a selection process that will be managed by Tennis Canada. Modelled after the Brampton project, the program is looking to offer similar grants to two projects in 2023, and then four annually from 2024 to 2030.
Information on the program as well as an application form will be available over the next few months at tenniscanada.com/PlayYourCourt.