Wednesday, April 13, 2016


The Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Tennis Association was held at Aviva Centre, Toronto on Saturday April 9th. More than hundred representatives of over 50 clubs were present for the meeting.  In 2015 the OTA had excellent results in several areas. Rob Nicholls, VP, Finance & Administration, showed how each source of revenue had grown at roughly the same rate over the past 5 years and expenditures in all program areas had grown proportionally. The association had ended the year almost break even but with a small positive net balance of income over expenses.
Ontario junior players had captured most of the outdoor national championship titles and two Ontario junior players, Bianca Andreescu (age 15, ITF junior rank #3) and Denis Shapovalov (age 16) are producing incredible results internationally for their age in the world junior and for Denis, in the ATP rankings. See separate article on Denis’ recent successes.
Jim Boyce outlined a new program launched in 2015, the Freedom 50 program, coordinated by Rick Bertozzi, to encourage mature adults to take up or return to tennis.  Rick is looking to connect interested seniors in all clubs as ambassadors for the sport and t work cooperatively with these ambassadors to boost participation in this demographic. Jim also updated the group on other key tennis promotional projects and on the work of a committee set up to develop an OTA training centre.  With the increased interest in tennis, the Aviva centre reaching capacity and with the prospect that the number of commercially operated tennis facilities is unlikely to grow, the OTA is looking at developing an indoor tennis facility which can be used for tennis player, coach, official and volunteer development and be accessible and beneficial to the entire Ontario tennis community.  The top priority for the committee is to identify a viable site for such a centre.
Jim also noted that the OTA will be celebrating its 100th birthday in 2018 and plans are already underway to ensure this milestone is celebrated in style. Watch this space for your opportunity to get involved!
After the formal meetings presentations were made to Al McGuire, for his contribution to the association as Chair of Tennis Toronto and participation on the Board and OTA Club Excallence Awards were made to representatives of three clubs, Barrie (see photo), Leaside and Thunder Bay for their excellent efforts to build and support tennis in 2015.   
After lunch breakout sessions were held for clubs to discuss issues of mutual interest and there was the opportunity for prepared participants to take time on the courts with OTA’s outreach staff.

Thanks go to Gulshad and the OTA staff for organizing such an efficient AGM and also to the OTA sponsors who came to the meeting to keep Club Presidents well informed of the opportunities they offer. It is a great opportunity for volunteers to meet and share interests and concerns and for the membership to get lots of information about the association and what it accomplishes.