Team Prairies Tennis officially has an identity. Tennis Manitoba and Tennis Saskatchewan recently worked together to create a logo for Team Prairies Tennis.
At junior national events, the two provinces link up and send one team that is comprised of players from Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Due to both provinces having a small pool of players, limited facilities, long distance to travel for more competitions, they work together.
Tennis Saskatchewan executive director Rory Park said the partnership with Tennis Manitoba is incredibly valuable for both parties.
“Tennis Manitoba and Tennis Saskatchewan have always had a good relationship,” Park said. “We often have the same challenges from year to year. The same type of issues tend to face both provinces… I like the concept of us coming together in a formal way as it gives us a more professional look and feel. Hopefully our players will see this new identity as something bigger than just playing for the province and it creates a greater sense of pride.”
The two provinces have three spots in each gender/age category at junior nationals events. Tennis Manitoba provincial team coach Jared Connell said building a Team Prairies brand creates more of a team atmosphere.
“One of the reasons we feel it has been difficult to fill all of our available spots at nationals is that often players will go to the tournament with very few or no other players from their home province and travel with a coach from the other province who they have little to no prior contact with. For Prairie players, the National Championships is a SIGNIFICANT jump in level and pressure from the provincial tournaments so that situation is intimidating enough without feeling like you are the only person from your province at the event,” Connell said.
“We hope the new logo and all information and communication for these events coming from the joint “Team Prairies” will help create more of a Team feel. In the past basically, the only thing that had a Team Prairies logo on it was the sweatshirt players were given to wear at Nationals. Everything else was done as Tennis MB or Tennis SK. We needed a fresh start/new identity. Team Atlantic has always been able to have a much stronger Team feel for their players/families. We are looking to create something similar.”
But it goes beyond a logo. Tennis Manitoba executive director Mark Arndt said the two organizations will work even closer together moving forward.
“We felt like in years past it wasn’t taken as seriously or whatever it may be,” Arndt said.
“But now we’ve struck a committee between the two provinces. We do have representation on both sides, board members from both sides, and obviously both of our head coaches, Jared Connell and Denise Fernandez (Saskatchewan) are a part of this.”
Below are the rosters that were scheduled to represent Team Prairies Tennis at junior nationals events. Unfortunately, all of those tournaments have been cancelled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
U12’s- Calgary, AB- March 20-26, 2020- Coach: Jared Connell (MB)
Caleb Gnilo (MB)
Arya Guha (SK)
Isabella Yan (SK)
U14’s- UBC, BC- March 28-April 3, 2020-Coach: Jared Connell (MB)
Keegan Rice (SK)
Noah Pe (MB)
Michael Hwang (MB)
Andrea Oros (MB)
U16’s- Ile des Soeurs, QC- March 20-25, 2020-Coach: Marek Nehasil (SK)
Kirtan Patel (SK)
Noah Pe (MB)
Magnus Gnilo (MB)
Teah Chavez (SK)
U18’s- Toronto, ON- March 29-April 3, 2020- Coach: Denise Fernandez (SK)
Kirtan Patel (SK)
Stefan Barre (MB)
William Preciado (SK)
Anya Chavez (SK)