PIctured above: representatives from Tennis Canada, Rogers, San Romanoway Revitalization Association, Trillium, Robert Kerr Foundation, Greenwin Corp, RPMS, Jumpstart charities, local MP and MPP offices, and Philpott Children’s Tennis. All were on-hand for the official groundbreaking ceremony for the 2-court bubble coming to the Courts at San Romanoway. The bubble is the first of its kind in Toronto, prioritized for the local community with free programs and affordable access. Photo credit: Peter Power, Tennis Canada
Written by Philpott Children’s Tennis
It was a wonderful day celebrating the official groundbreaking for the indoor tennis facility coming to the Courts at San Romanoway.
The dream of Philpott’s very own bubbled tennis facility took an important step forward as the official groundbreaking ceremony for the 2-court bubble at San Romanoway took place on February 25, 2023.
The bubble is set to open in Winter 2023/24 and will provide year-round access and programs for children and families at San Romanoway, a community in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood that Philpott has partnered with for over two decades.
“We have been reliant on outside organizations for court time during the winter months which makes it hard to provide sustainable programs”, explains Richard Crowell, Philpott’s Executive Director. “This bubble will be prioritized for Philpott programs and for the community. It will allow us to offer free programs, at a convenient location and convenient times for families, eliminating the biggest barriers in sport participation for kids.”
Philpott is thrilled to be one of four facilities announced by Tennis Canada and Rogers to receive $200,000 in funding in 2023 as part of the Year Round Community Tennis Program. Other project supporters include Trillium Foundation, Robert Kerr Foundation, and of course, the property owners at San Romanoway which include Greenwin Corp. and RPMS. They have all helped Philpott reach key project milestones and raise a majority of the project’s capital costs. Thanks to their support, the target date of of Winter 2023/24 is a viable reality.
Richard talks about the significance of this project, “An indoor facility was always the dream at Philpott so it’s exciting to see the project move forward. This facility will create jobs, deliver leadership programs, keep kids physically active, and bring together a community that has been devastated by the pandemic and inflation. I can’t wait to see it full of kids. It will change their lives.”
Philpott Leadership graduates speak at Groundbreaking Ceremony
Ayesha Kandeh (left) and Thuginthan Thurai (right) are both graduates of the Leadership program where they successfully completed their Tennis Canada coach certification. They both spoke about the impact the facility will have for kids and families in the Jane-Finch and Black Creek community.
Thuginthan (right) grew up in the San Romonway neighbourhood, overlooking the courts. He started in the Philpott camp program at age 6, and he now coaches on the same courts where he first learned to play. He is continuing to develop his coaching and leadership skills through Philpott’s Coaching Development Pathway while he attends the University of Toronto as an undergraduate business major. Ayesha picked up a tennis racquet for the first time in Philpott’s West Humber Girls program. This program was started to address the lack of female coaches in Philpott programs. In 2022, over 50% of Philpott Instructors were female coaches, including Ayesha. With only one year of tennis experience, Ayesha passed her Tennis Canada coach certification this year.
Over 98% of Philpott families want their children to continue in tennis, but over 75% are unaware of affordable programs in their community. “When we have to tell kids at the end of the summer that they need to wait until next year to play tennis and see their friends and coaches, it’s heartbreaking. It just feels like such a big missed opportunity”, says Philpott Coach Kate Hsu. The facility will change this reality.
Kids will be able to continue their passion for tennis all year-long. It will be possible to offer multiple lessons per week, additional training for instructors, friendly competition, and deepen our impact in every possible way. Most importantly, parents and kids will have a safe, dignified space to call their own, all-year round, because this will be THEIR facility, for THEIR community.
Learn more about this gamechanging investment in the Jane-Finch community
Video is from the initial refurbishment of the courts of San Romanoway. This was the first phase in the plan to bubble these courts for year-round play.