Fast-paced, action packed and high intensity – these are just a few ways to describe the game of tennis, a sport that has been gaining momentum in Canada thanks in part to the emergence of stars like Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard.
Dan Godwin has been playing tennis for years and has watched the sport grow along with him.
“I have seen tennis in New Brunswick growing since I first began playing in Riverview. The growth has been a direct result of being able to use modified equipment to make the game easier for both kids and adults – smaller nets, slower balls and smaller racquets.”
Godwin cites the creation of the indoor Abony Family Tennis Center as a reason for the growing interest in the sport throughout the Greater Fredericton area.
“Kids and adults can now play tennis all year and make it their primary sport, rather than simply a hobby.”
With the recent creation of a team at the University of New Brunswick, the future of tennis in the province looks bright.
“I first received the news from Tennis Canada that they wanted to establish an Atlantic University league,” said Godwin.
Godwin cited the success of university leagues in Toronto and Montreal as inspiration for the Atlantic division, and has been working closely with James Cress, UNB’s sport club coordinator, to get the team up and running.
“This will be our first year working with this league, but we look forward to having this grow into something bigger,” said Godwin.
UNB’s squad will compete against Acadia, Dalhousie and Memorial University during their inaugural season, with the hopes of adding more teams in coming years.
The regular season will consist of two tournaments, thereby granting each team the opportunity to compete against other universities. The year will culminate with a championship tournament.
Each school participating in the Atlantic university league recently received funding to help kick-start their team. This funding was provided by Tennis Canada to help with travel and other expenses.
“Tennis Canada wants to expand our sport throughout the Atlantic region, and to create competition throughout the country at the university tennis championships,” said Godwin. “This donation will be incredibly beneficial for our team at UNB.”
Godwin has high hopes for UNB’s tennis team and the opportunities it will create for younger players.
“We would like to see students come to UNB in the future with the intention of playing tennis at a competitive university level. We have a beautiful six court facility, so hopefully we will have a strong team to compete against.”
Godwin stated that several high school students have already expressed interest in joining UNB’s squad in coming seasons.
Although he’s happy with the progress thus far, Godwin is always on the lookout for more players. Interested individuals can contact him at email@example.com for more information.
“Anyone can come try out for the team, as we are still looking for a few more players, both boys and girls,” he explained. “Even if they do not want to participate in the tournaments, it would be great to have more players to compete in practices.”