The Manitoba tennis community is fortunate to have Iverson Guan.
Originally from Beijing, China, Guan made the move to Winnipeg in 2015 to enroll in the University of Manitoba’s Recreation Management and Community Development.
He loved tennis back home and was inspired by Chinese player Li Na, but his career in the sport took off when he arrived in the River City.
“I started coaching tennis while I was at the University of Manitoba as a student. We had a student tennis club and I was asked by a friend to help with U of M’s tennis programs and the Mini U program. Ever since then, I started to enjoy it and have a passion for coaching tennis,” Guan said.
From there, Guan took his talents to the Winnipeg Winter Club where he worked as an assistant pro from 2018-19. He then became a full-time tennis coach at Taylor Tennis Club in 2019 and was recently named the Club Head Pro at the Tennis Manitoba Hub @ Deer Lodge in the summer of 2021. He also helps head coach Jared Connell with the provincial team program.
“I love coaching because it gives me a chance to promote and introduce this sport to the community. People think tennis is hard and end up giving up play, which makes me sad. What I can do is to let them know it’s such an inclusive and great sport for adults and kids to play at any level/age,” he said.
“I feel really happy and grateful every time when I see people playing tennis. People make friends, build connections, and become more confident and independent through tennis.”
Guan, 27, has also been Tennis Manitoba’s Tournament Manager since 2018. But when he isn’t swinging racquets or making sure tournaments run smoothly, he loves to travel. When he was 18, Guan travelled throughout China for a month by himself. He’s also gotten use to the Winnipeg winters as last year he picked up downhill skiing and snowboarding.
“I love this city and started to become a real Winnipeger. Moving to Winnipeg, Canada is one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my life,” Guan said.
“I met great people here, made great friends. I hope one day I will get my parents to live here as well.”
To contact Iverson, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fun fact about Iverson: Guan’s first name is technically Xinwei, but he said Chinese names are difficult to pronounce in English, so he wanted to go by something easier — Iverson. Guan also has a passion for basketball and with former Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson being his all-time favourite player, he decided to adopt the name.
“I remember he said he plays every game like it’s his last,” said Guan.
“I try to follow that whether I’m playing basketball, tennis, or with anything in life.”