It has been another year of solid results for Canadian Tennis on the world stage. Milos Raonic has solidified himself as one of the top players in the game and despite some injury problems is presently ranked in the top ten in the world, sitting in the number 9 spot. Although he has had an up and down year Vasek Pospisil is still ranked in the top 50 for singles and the top twenty for doubles as well. Eugenie Bouchard has had a challenging year but everyone in tennis hopes she will see a turnaround in her game in the upcoming year and return to the level she attained in 2014. Canadian Tennis’ elder statesman, Daniel Nestor has seen recent success with French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin and he remains one of the top doubles players in the world. Adding to this success, Canada won the Junior Davis Cup for the first time ever. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovolov also won the biys doubles title at this year’s U.S.Open.
Here on PEI we are very lucky to have Brian Hall as our Executive Director and Technical Director for Tennis PEI. Brian, as always, has brought his love for tennis and his passion for developing the sport to both roles and the sport of tennis on PEI has been the beneficiary. Brian’s report will outline the many tournaments, programs, and events which Tennis PEI has run in the past year. I am especially encouraged to see programming continuing to be offered outside our traditional base in Charlottetown. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jeff Eagar who worked for the association as well as for Tennis at the Park this summer. Jeff was enthusiastic and helped to raise awareness of the sport on our social media platforms. Our Facebook page was busier than it ever was this year and Jeff had a large role in driving that activity. Thanks also to Tracey Ellsworth who helped to deliver programming to various day care centres and help introduce tennis to young players at an early age.
Programming was offered again to elementary school students through our Schools Programs and this has proven to be very successful in introducing younger players to the sport. Our schools tournament in June had the largest turnout ever and our numbers at Rogers Rookie Tour Events are higher than they’ve ever been. As well we’ve have seen an increase in registrations for summer programming and I think this can be directly linked to the exposure the sport gets through the schools program every year..
At many of our tournaments again this year we provided chair umpires and officials for the finals. The players (especially the juniors) love this added touch when they come to tournaments on PEI and the work of Roy Main and all the other volunteers who officiate at our events is to be commended.
I’m used to reporting on Roy’s exploits at the Rogers Cup, Davis Cup and other tournaments but I’m thrilled this year to also be able to talk about other officials on PEI who have worked on the “big stage” Rick Burger worked at the Pan Am games this year and was selected to work in the medal rounds. One of our new officials, Carol Mahar, also worked at the Pan Am and Para Pan Am games.
Many of our younger players have stayed involved in tennis as coaches for summer programming. We are very lucky to have a number of excellent young coaches working for Tennis PEI and for Brian through Tennis at the Park.
All the work that Tennis PEI does would not be possible without the support of our funding partners at Tennis Canada and the Province of P.E.I. Tennis Canada has continued to be our biggest supporter both financially and in terms of support in other areas.
Tennis Canada The Province of PEI is also a valuable funding partner for our association and their ongoing support enables us to reach more people and offer more programming than ever before.
I would also like to thank all the individuals and businesses who have sponsored Tennis PEI events over the past year. Without their support we would not be able to run the quality programming and events that we do.
Canada’s ongoing success on the international stage can only help to raise the profile of tennis and draw more players to the sport, and hopefully that will translate into growth and popularity here on PEI. The success of Milos, Vasek, Daniel, and Eugenie has taken tennis to the front pages of the newspapers and the lead stories of the sports shows. We as an association need to be ready to accept those people who want to try tennis and to have programs ready for them. I think we’ve made good steps in that direction in order to grow the game on PEI. The work of our staff, our coaches, and our board has us in a good position to keep growing the game.
I have served on the board of Tennis PEI in some capacity for close to thirty years now and have been involved in the tennis community as a player, coach and administrator since I was 14. Tennis is the greatest game in the world, a sport for a lifetime and I have gotten more from it than I ever could have given back. I have decided to step down as Tennis PEI president and step away from the Tennis PEI board. When I first joined the Tennis PEI board as 17 year old “Jr. Rep” we had an annual budget of about $7000.00, no staff and no coaches certified above an instructor level.
Six years ago when I took over as President of Tennis PEI we had two part time positions of Executive Director and Technical Director, an annual budget of about 65, 000 and annual funding from Tennis Canada and the Province of PEI in the range of $30,000 – 35,000. We were often “living paycheck to paycheck” and sometimes struggling to get bills paid on time or waiting for our funding to come in before we could write cheques to cover outstanding bills.
Our most recent annual budget is for just under $120,000 for 2015-2016. We have a highly qualified person (Brian Hall) in the role of combined ED/TD and our annual funding from our funding partners (Province of PEI , Tennis Canada, Government of Canada) will be just under $100,000 next year. The balance sheet from our treasurer shows us having a bank balance of almost $40,000, a GIC for $11,000, accounts receivable of $37,000 equity of $83,000.
I feel I have left the organization stronger than when I joined and that was always my number 1 goal in serving on the Tennis PEI board.
Best of luck to all in the future.
Yours in Tennis,