Photo: Peter Power

Tennis Canada today hosted the grand opening of a completed, fully covered tennis court project at Ancaster Tennis Club in Hamilton, ON, made possible through the Year-Round Community Tennis Court Program presented by Rogers.

Hamilton was confirmed as one of the first four municipalities selected to receive funding from the Year-Round Community Tennis Court Program announced earlier this year. Completed on schedule, the Ancaster Tennis Club project ensures its courts will remain active throughout the fall and winter seasons, increasing its available court time for the community constituents by roughly 3,700 hours from October to April.

“We are honoured to have been chosen by Tennis Canada and Rogers for sponsorship of our dome under the Year-Round Tennis Courts initiative,” said Kerry Radigan, President of Ancaster Tennis Club. “Our dream of a 12 month facility has now become a reality thanks to this program as well as support from the City of Hamilton, the Hamilton Future Fund and our members. Our community now has the ability to provide our youth, families, adults and seniors with winter tennis for the first time in our history. Hamilton has moved from four covered courts to nine covered courts with the addition of the Rogers Tennis Dome in Ancaster. This is fantastic news for the sport of tennis locally.”

Various dignitaries, including Kerry Radigan, President of Ancaster Tennis Club, Matt Koevoets, Past President, Engineer, Ancaster Tennis Club, Michelle Burjaw, Eva Havaris, VP Participation and Partnership, Tennis Canada, Anita Comella, Senior Director of Facilities Development, Tennis Canada, Suzanne Dekay, Vice Chair, OTA, Philippe Oille, President of Southwestern Ontario Region, Rogers Communications and Mustapha Jamal, Ancaster Tennis Club Director Of Operations and Head Tennis Pro attended the opening ceremony held at Ancaster Tennis Club in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday.

“The grand opening of the five-court bubbled facility at Ancaster Tennis Club is another moment of significance for this program,” commented Michael Downey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tennis Canada. “We would like to thank our partner, Rogers, for their support in making these projects a reality through the instrumental capital seed money they have provided. Our thanks must also go to the City of Hamilton, as well as the local operators at Ancaster Tennis Club. This project is just one of many as we continue to deliver on our promise to make year-round tennis available to Canadians across the country.”

“We are proud to join Tennis Canada in enabling the growth of the sport through new year-round covered tennis courts which will provide even more opportunities to keep young people active in their communities and support the next generation of Canadian athletes,” said Robert Dépatie, President and Chief Operating Officer, Home and Business, Rogers Communications.

Funded jointly by Tennis Canada and Rogers, the $5.6 million Year-Round Community Tennis Court Program will make year-round tennis a reality for thousands of Canadians and help foster increased participation amongst youth. The program aims to build 160 year-round courts at up to 30 facilities over the next seven years. The investment addresses the fact that Canada currently falls behind other leading tennis nations in providing access to the sport 12 months a year, with only 750 publicly accessible covered courts across the country. This represents only one year-round court for every 50,000 people.

In addition to the project at Ancaster Tennis Club, two further air-supported “bubble” installations are set to be unveiled at Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre in Calgary, AB and Club de Tennis François Godbout in Waterloo, QC. These follow the grand opening of a six-court domed facility at Premier Racquet Clubs in Markham, ON last week. Collectively, these four projects will increase court time opportunities for their communities by roughly 15,000 hours. Previously, these outdoor-only courts were rendered unusable for 50-75% of the year.

As momentum for the Year-Round Community Tennis Courts Program presented by Rogers continues to grow, with 90% of Canadians agreeing that municipalities should work with Tennis Canada on the initiative, you can learn more about the program and email to find out how you can help kick start a project in your municipality.