The time to decide who will be representing the province and wearing black and yellow jackets is almost here.
Tennis Manitoba’s provincial team program (ages 12-18) is set to begin during the week of October 12, 2020. This year’s program leads into the Canada Summer Games which will be held August 5-13, 2021 in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
After a challenging summer with no sanctioned tournaments, the provincial team program running as planned is a big win for the local tennis community. Tryouts will be held on Friday, September 18th, 5:30-7 p.m. at River Heights Community Centre.
“It’s very exciting to get back to some type of ‘normal schedule/training’ and be able to provide a 20-week program with an actual goal of leading into the 2021 Canada Summer Games,” said provincial coach Jared Connell.
“The outdoor season has been great for tennis as it is a natural social distancing sport and was outside, but with no tournament schedule, the juniors lacked that direction and goal for training. This provincial team/Canada Summer Games training team will have that end goal.”
To register for the tryouts, email Tennis Manitoba executive director Mark Arndt (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 11th.
Despite the pandemic, Arndt said the program won’t feel too different for players.
“With tennis being ranked as the safest sport to participate in, it won’t be apparent that much has changed when observing on-court activity. Tennis MB has safe play protocols in place and I’m confident that we’ll deliver the provincial team/Canada Games Team program in a responsible manner,” Arndt said.
“That being said, behind the scenes, our team of coaches will develop practice plans that keep physical distancing at the forefront during practice sessions. As well, we’ll only be able to have a limited amount of players on court so that will dictate the roster size.”
So, what kind of players are they looking for?
“Any and all competitive players from U12-U18, girls and boys, interested in working hard and improving their games,” Connell said.
“Tennis Manitoba plans to have a three-level program. Team A should be composed of players who will be competing at the Games, then Team B will be one level below and looking to compete for spots on future Games teams, then Team C will be a future stars/future development team.”
Arndt believes it’s a can’t miss opportunity for players.
“For most, representing Manitoba at the Canada Summer Games will be the pinnacle of a player’s tennis career. It is the closest that one will come to competing at the Olympics,” said Arndt.
“Being that it is a team event, not only a tennis team but being a part of the whole Manitoba team that includes all summer sports, it is a really unique experience with tennis normally being such an individual sport. It will be special being a part of a team for a moment.”