Marcie Saifer has introduced tennis to hundreds of kids at the club she herself took up the game at.
Saifer is gearing up for her 16th year as director and head pro of Advantage Tennis & Sports Camp at Taylor Tennis Club. The summer program consists of a tennis and sports camp for ages 7-16 (four two-week sessions with the second week of each session being a tournament week) and a tiny tots camp for ages 4-6 (three one-week half-day sessions). Saifer takes a maximum of 70 kids per session for ages 7-16, and a maximum of 20 kids per session for the tiny tots program.
“I’d say 70 percent of the kids who come in the summer continue throughout the winter with me (at Taylor),” she said.
When the summer ends, Saifer starts planning right away for the next year’s Advantage Tennis & Sports Camp. Part of the work involves finding sponsors.
“I start in September sending out emails (to potential sponsors) and telling them what the camp is about,” said Saifer.
Advantage Tennis & Sports Camp has 16 sponsors, and brochures are found across the city at such places as Boston Pizza, Tim Hortons and Booster Juice.
“Probably 80 percent (of the sponsors) have been with us from the beginning and we try to pick up one or two new ones each year,” Saifer said.
Saifer was 17 when she took up tennis at Taylor Tennis Club.
“They built this club (Taylor) a couple of blocks from where I lived and my parents said, ‘go play,’” she recalled. “And I did.”
Saifer, who worked at the front desk at Taylor as a youngster, soon became a competitive tennis player. After university she trained in California for six months before competing one summer in Europe and then playing two summers across Canada and some tournaments in the United States.
As a tennis coach, Saifer instructed at community centres before taking over the University of Manitoba’s Mini U tennis program. In her 10 years with the Mini U program, enrolled jumped from 10 kids per session to 60 kids per session.
Saifer then found a new opportunity: establishing her Advantage Tennis & Sports Camp summer kids’ program at Taylor Tennis Club.
“It’s very busy here (at Taylor) in the summer with the kids,” said Saifer. “It’s good for the restaurant, it’s good for the pro shop, and it’s good for court time.”
For more information on Advantage Tennis & Sports Camp, please contact Marcie at firstname.lastname@example.org.