Meet Our Staff

RICHARD CROWELL, executive director

Richard Crowell is the Executive Director of Philpott Children’s Tennis, a charity established in 1985 and running programs in 18 priority neighborhoods in Toronto. This role allows Richard to pursue his passion of working with youth and developing leadership skills through sport.

In addition to his current position Richard teaches Sport Management at Humber College, he is the president of Field Hockey Ontario and has recently completed a Masters Certificate in Project Management with the Schulich School of Business.

Prior to his role with Philpott Children’s Tennis, Richard worked with Tennis Canada for twelve years as the Director of Community Tennis. In addition to his work in community tennis, Richard also established a university national tennis championship, managed Tennis Canada’s partnerships with their Provincial Tennis Associations and was the fitness coach for Tennis Canada’s provincial and national U12 teams working with many of Canada’s top prospects.

Richard is currently married, living in Vaughan and enjoys playing hockey in the winter and tennis, golf, baseball and cycling in the summer.

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STEPHAN HARRIS, head program manager

Stephan is Head Program Manager of Philpott Children’s Tennis. Stephan has been playing tennis his whole life since his dad, Clyde Harris, was his coach. Back in his training days, he played some OTA matches and received multiple tennis awards from his high school. 

He has been involved with Philpott since the summer of 2015. He started as a volunteer for the leadership program but was then hired as an assistant coach later that summer. Stephan continued with Philpott Children’s Tennis and became a certified coach in 2016. By 2017, Stephan became the head coach at the Oakridge site and he was there until 2019 where he was then promoted to the supervisor of the east site. 

Upon graduation, Stephan accepted the role of Head Program Manager for Philpott. He now overseas all aspects of Philpott’s program delivery.  

Stephan is very passionate about giving back to the community by helping shape the children of the future. ” We don’t just teach them how to play tennis, we also teach them how to be people.” His favorite quote to mention when asked about Philpott is: “It is all free. All you need to do bring is your water, shoes, and a smile”.

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SOPHIE RONAN, events and communications

Sophie works part-time for Philpott Children’s Tennis supporting 3rd party fundraising events and managing the organization’s communications with a team of Philpott youth.

With a background in finance, she eventually followed her passion for tennis and positive youth development through sport to work for Tennis Canada and eventually, Philpott Children’s Tennis.

Sophie is a life-long tennis player. She started playing at her local park, hitting against the wall, and went on to compete nationally and internationally, and earn a full tennis scholarship to the University of South Carolina.

She treasures tennis mostly for the incredible community of people that it brings together, and it’s emphasis on sportsmanship with integrity, respect, and fair play reigning supreme; values she holds dear on and off the court.

Tennis has introduced Sophie to many amazing people over the years. Most importantly, she met her husband Rory through the sport. They are proud parents to two boys, James and Aidan, who keep them running both on and off

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RICKY CHEE, west site supervisor

Ricky Chee is the West Site Supervisor for Philpott Children’s Tennis. Ricky joined the Philpott coaching team in 2009 at the Malvern site. He received his Tennis Instructor certification in 2004 and has a great passion for tennis. His daughter, Jessica, and son, Kito, played tennis together since they were young.

Ricky continued to be a part of the Philpott team and was promoted to Supervisor.  Many enthusiastic volunteers got the chance to go through his tennis training to improve their tennis skills off-season at the L’Amoreaux Tennis Center. This role allowed Ricky to pursue his passion of working with young volunteers and help them with tennis and leadership skills.

Besides Philpott Children’s Tennis, Ricky works with a few different community tennis clubs.  Ricky was the captain in a community tennis intercounty league and engaged in friendly and competitively double matches every summer.

Ricky believes that sports can help us to learn to focus on tasks on hand, as well as improve our physical and mental health. Ricky will continue to work for this amazing charity organisation and get more kids within the community the chance to play tennis and learn the five core values of Philpott: Respect, Honesty, Courage, Cooperation and Sportmanship. 

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STEPHANIE CHEE, east site supervisor/ head coach

Stephanie first came to know about Philpott Children’s Tennis as a mom! Both of her boys participated in Philpott programs and earned their coaching certification through the Philpott Leadership Program in partnership with TSLP.  While her kids learned tennis, Stephanie also became interested in the game and she decided to take up the sport; determined to show her kids that moms can learn new tricks too! Everyone at Philpott was inspired by Stephanie’s energy and enthusiasm for the sport and so we welcomed her into the Toronto Sport Leadership Program.  

Before you know it, Stephanie was a certified coach.  She quickly took on a leadership role within Philpott and now she mentors many coaches through her roles with the girls Leadership program, the Philpott Leadership program, and her role as the East Site Supervisor.  

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HARSHAVI PATEL, content coordinator/ head coach

Harshavi is currently working as a summer content coordinator and Head Coach for Philpott Children’s Tennis. She started her tennis journey in 2019 through the first-ever Girls Leadership Program. Since then, she has been working with Philpott to continue developing her playing and leadership skills. 

From the Girls Leadership program at West Humber Harshavi transitioned to TSLP. She completed her level 1 certification in 2021 and has been coaching ever since. Harshavi recognizes the importance of being a female player and hopes to be a role model to other young girls in the program. She has had many roles with Philpott from player to coach which is was inspired to purse a career in teaching and education. 

Harshavi is now at Queen’s University in the Concurrent Education program, completing both her BAH. and BE.d. She hopes to become a high school teacher and continue to inspire and encourage other youth females both on and off the courts. 

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Executive Mentors

ANDY SUTTON

Coaching Consultant

CATHERINE EUSTACE

Fundraising Consultant

PHIL WILLOW

Technology Consultant