Summer 2016 starts Monday July 4th and runs to Friday August 19th. This summer consists of thirty-eight enthusiastic tennis instructors and three highly qualified supervisors, servicing nineteen sites and welcoming over 8,000 campers into the program. It truly will be another outstanding Philpott season!
Every morning for seven weeks we provide free tennis lessons at the following sites: Amesbury Community Recreation Centre (CRC), Antibes Community Centre, Cabbagetown Youth Centre, Clairlea – pending (provides courts for West Scarborough Boys and Girls Club), Dovercourt Boys & Girls Club, Flemingdon Park Community Centre (CC), Grandravine CC, Jimmie Simpson (CRC), Kingsview Village CC, Lawrence Heights CC, Malvern CRC, McGregor Park CRC, Parkdale CRC, Oakridge CRC, San Romanoway, Secord CC, Silver Creek Park, L’Amoreaux CC and Joseph J Piccininni CC.
This year the Toronto Sports Leadership program will be available to the 15 and 16 year old who live in priority needs neighbourhoods and volunteer at our sites. The youth help out with the younger children and spent time each day working with our instructors to reach a 3.0 level of tennis ability. The successful participants will work with the City of Toronto throughout the winter and attend seminars on childcare, first aid, resume writing and interview techniques. In January and February, thanks to free tennis court time given to us by the Scarborough Winter Tennis Club, we are able to offer lessons to these volunteers helping them become Tennis Canada Level 1 certification ready. Once ready, if they qualify, they receive financial assistance from Tennis Canada and Philpott to ensure they can attend the certification course.
In 2016 100% of our candidates passed the Tennis Canada certification course held during the March break. Once a youth receives their Level One certification, we offer them paid employment as Philpott tennis instructors. This summer six of our Philpott instructors have come through this program. They are now teaching tennis in the neighbourhoods where they grew up, having learned their first tennis as Philpott campers. They are exceptional leaders and mentors to the younger children.
We are thankful for the support of the Toronto tennis community, individual donors and Toronto’s largest private tennis clubs, namely The Boulevard Club, The Cricket Club, The Granite Club, The Toronto Badminton and Racquet Club and The Toronto Lawn Tennis Club. This year our major financial partners include Canadian Tire Jump Start, the Philpott Ladies Invitational (hosted by the Toronto Badminton and Racquet Club in 2016) and the Davisville and Leaside Tennis Clubs. We are always extremely grateful to Head Canada and Wilson Sport for their generous donations of equipment. Once again the Racquet Donation Program was a tremendous success and with the support of Toronto tennis players and the McCain Jensen family, we will be giving away over 500 racquets and a new can of tennis balls for each gifted racquet.
Philpott is now considered a City of Toronto partner. This strong relationship with the city is crucial to our operation as it ensures ongoing permitted use of the city’s tennis courts and a city managed camper registration. Each year the City of Toronto recommends several more neighbourhoods that would benefit from Philpott tennis lessons. Two additional sites have been added this summer. Five sites will be offering afternoon lessons to meet the ever growing demand. As well we are hoping to provide stay and play opportunities at a site in the east McGregor Park and a site in the west Amesbury Community Centre, where the instructors will stay on after the lessons and play with the campers and organize league play.
Thank you for all you do to make this most significant program happen for the children of Toronto living in priority needs neighbourhoods. Your support truly makes a difference.