UTSC Tennis Club launches new programs
Apr 26, 2012
|The tennis courts in the valley are a hidden gem at UTSC.
New programs and a new head tennis pro will rejuvenate UTSC’s
Tennis Club this year.
This summer, the Tennis Club will run a camp for youth from
neighbouring communities, host a series of tournaments, provide
training for wheelchair tennis coaches, and serve as one of the few
places in Toronto where children can train using a new technique
called progressive tennis.
The UTSC Tennis Club maintains 11 tennis courts and a clubhouse
tucked into the valley just off Old Kingston Road. Its existence often
comes as a surprise to university and community members alike.
“When I first went down there I thought this was a
hidden gem,” said Scott McRoberts, UTSC’s director of
athletics and recreation, who says the quiet location and surrounding
trees make it a wonderful place to play tennis. A former college
tennis player himself, McRoberts wants to make sure more people know
about the facility. His goal is to introduce 1,000 new people to the
courts this year through a number of different programs.
A key part of the new programming will be Dustin Sexton, the new
head tennis pro. Sexton comes from the Kew Gardens Tennis Club, where
he spent the last 18 years instructing and playing. Sexton says
he’s looking forward to building partnerships and running a club
that is fully engaged with the surrounding communities
Among the highlights of the upcoming programs:
Over the summer the Tennis Club will run an eight-week camp
combining tennis and leadership development, coaching at no charge 45
youth from the Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park and Mornelle Court
community who normally don’t have access to this type of
In partnership with the East Scarborough Storefront, East
Scarborough Boys and Girls Club, and Heron Park Community Centre, this
program will reach into the heart of the community and not only
develop youths’ tennis skills, but help shape tomorrow’s
leaders. Camp members will receive a free racquet, a summer membership
to the club, and a total of 24 hours of instruction.
As an added bonus, kids will be brought on an
all-expenses-paid trip to the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in
“I’m confident this program will succeed because
it was developed in authentic partnership with community
organizations, and I look forward to our continued work
together”, say Ewa Cerda-Llanos, Coordinator of
Community/University Initiatives for the East Scarborough
The club will also receive a grant from the Ontario Tennis
Association to teach progressive tennis, a technique designed for
children and beginners that allows them to learn on a smaller court.
UTSC is one of only five progressive tennis community clubs in Ontario
and will receive over $1500 worth of equipment to implement the
The courts will also be renovated to exceed accessibility
requirements for wheelchair tennis, and will host a national training
program for wheelchair tennis coaches.
The courts will host a number of tournaments, including six OTA
youth tournaments, four invitationals, a wheelchair tennis tourney,
high school tournaments including the Toronto District School
Board’s tournament, and University of Toronto club
championships, as well as home matches for the Varsity Blues
men’s and women’s teams.
“It’s our hope that the programs and initiatives
implemented this year foster a vibrant and healthy club that serves
the university and surrounding communities well into the
future,” McRoberts says.
The club will hold an opening day celebration on May 5 from 12 to 4
pm. There will be a barbecue, instruction, a round robin, and the
opportunity to register for the season. Click
here for more information.