Photo: Alexis Shareck

Tennis Canada is thrilled to announce the launch of the National Development Program for its wheelchair tennis athletes. The program aims to provide support to promising players early in their development path to help them reach their full potential. Comprised of a pool of athletes who have shown initial abilities and commitment to training, the National Development Program is designed to progress players towards the National High-Performance Program with the support of Tennis Canada and its provincial partners.

The National Development Program includes funding, access to coaching services, and support with goal setting, competition planning, training, and sport science conditioning. The program will also rely on experienced coaches to help develop its players. Long-time wheelchair tennis coach Christian Gingras has been hired to help Ontario and Quebec-based players, while British Columbia’s provincial wheelchair tennis coach and former quad division world No. 2 Sarah Hunter, as part of her role as Provincial Coach, will support the players from Western Canada.

Shawn Courchesne – Photo: Alexis Shareck

“As a tennis nation, we are extremely proud to introduce a program dedicated entirely to the development of our wheelchair tennis athletes,” said Kai Schrameyer, National Coach of Wheelchair Tennis, High Performance Program at Tennis Canada. “The support that the National Development Program will provide these talented athletes will maximize their potential over the next years, and hopefully will lead to a higher number of significant results during our domestic tournaments, ITF events, and eventually, the Paralympics.”

Players who have been identified for the National Development Program in 2023 include:

  • Lachlan Sandford (junior): Mission, BC
  • Samuel Peters (junior): Kelowna, BC
  • John Chen (junior): Richmond, BC
  • Frédérique Bérubé Perron (junior): St-Bruno, QC
  • Hisham Mohammad (quad):  Hamilton, ON
  • Candice Combdon (women): Barrie, ON
  • Shawn Courchesne (men): Toronto, ON

“For any tennis player in Canada with aspirations to succeed, being a part of the National Development Program is an imperative initial phase,” said nominated quad player Hisham Mohammad. “This program offers access to world-class coaching, training facilities, and opportunities for competition that are vital in acquiring the necessary skills and mindset to thrive at the sport’s uppermost echelons.”

Frédérique Bérubé Perron – Photo: Alexis Shareck

“I will make the effort to go beyond my limits to be worthy of this nomination,” said Frédérique Bérubé Perron, one of four junior players identified for the program. “As Serena Williams said, ‘Anyone’s dream can come true if you believe and work hard.’ Thank you for believing in me, Tennis Canada.”

Tennis Canada remains committed to supporting and nurturing Canadian tennis talent, elevating the sport to greater heights on an international level. For more information on the National Development Program, please click here.