Jordee Matson was looking for a move in the summer of 2017, and before long she landed a coaching job at Taylor Tennis Club. Matson, who grew up just outside of Thunder Bay in Neebing, Ontario, emailed Mario Trstenjak at Taylor to see if any work was available and sent in her resume.
“Then he contacted me and said, ‘well, we can get you in,’” recalled Matson, who started coaching at the club in September. “It was just a fluke thing. It was really lucky.”
Matson once played an International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior tournament at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.
“I came in August to check out the club and that was my second time here (in Winnipeg),” she said. “I went to England for a week, went home, packed my stuff and then moved here.”
Matson hit her first tennis balls at age four. Her mom had taken up tennis and got her started in the sport.
“I didn’t take it competitively until I was 11 or 12, and that’s when I stared becoming more serious,” said Matson.
Tennis wasn’t the only sport Matson excelled at. In Grade 10 she won the city championship for badminton in Thunder Bay.
“Growing up tennis was always one of the sports I played,” Matson said. “I did a lot of different ones. When I got to high school I was doing competitive tennis and then basketball and volleyball on the side. I’d always be going from one practice to another.”
Matson travelled a lot as a junior tennis player.
“Most of my tournaments I played in Minnesota,” she said. “In Thunder Bay in the winter we didn’t have courts. It was a multi-surface court that we played on.”
Matson was about 14 years old when she started working as a coach at Thunder Bay Community Tennis Centre. She spent about six summers coaching at the facility and was the junior development coordinator in her last two years.
“They needed some people (to coach) and I was always there so I started coaching,” Matson remembered. “I would do that every summer and then I became old enough to become assistant pro.”
Matson played four years on the women’s tennis team at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. She was the team’s captain in her senior year and graduated in 2016.
“I had about six different options (for college tennis),” said Matson, who studied sociology and criminal justice. “I was going to go to a school in Iowa and then I got an offer at St. Cloud and thought it would be closer to home.”
Photo courtesy of St. Cloud State University.