Outreach in the community has been an integral part of our company since inception. We believe building grassroots participation that is accessible is the only way a sport organization can truly thrive.
To us, community means everyone.
Since 2011 Wilmington Tennis has secured over $400,000 for outreach programs in partnership with our not-for-profit partners. To date our focus has been providing a fun and safe environment for children, many of whom live in neighbourhoods that are under-served and considered “at risk”. We see value in bringing kids on court so that they can learn athletic skills, leadership, make new friends, and take pride in the neighbourhood in which they live and play!
Gallery of Past Projects.
The Sunshine Project was created through a collaborative effort among partners who share a common belief in the benefits of recreational tennis. From province-wide programs to local grassroots initiatives, our partners encourage children to increase their involvement in sports because as a result, the social fabric of our communities grows stronger.
Visit www.sunshinetennisproject.com for complete details.
The Sunshine Project begins in April 2014 and will operate for three consecutive spring seasons, ending in June 2016. The project is designed to bring subsidized tennis lessons directly to low-income neighbourhoods, making this sport a viable after school activity for children ages 6 – 12. By making use of public tennis sites located adjacent to our schools, this project succeeds in breaking down the biggest barriers to tennis: proximity, price, and required equipment to play.
Each year the project will move to new neighbourhoods, giving different children a chance to play, totaling 900 participants over three years. Unique to this project, each year the youth, volunteers and local leaders will be given the resources required to continue operating tennis lessons at established Sunshine sites in future years. The program for 2015 will:
Operate Monday to Thursday each week, for a total of 10 weeks (April 13th – June 18th).
Run at 4 outdoor tennis sites simultaneously: Beaumonde Heights Park, Hullmar Park, Stanley Park & Chalkfarm Park
Maximum capacity of 300 participants, ages 6 – 12 years old;
Lessons are 3:30 – 5:00pm (ages 6 – 9) and 5:00pm – 6:30pm (ages 9 – 12)
Provide participants with a personal tennis racquet and a yearbook / guide to further participation in community tennis, including invitations to your nearest community tennis club’s opening day BBQ.
Incorporate 8 local youth who will train as leaders and work alongside the Wilmington Tennis coaching staff throughout the project.
2013 marked a turn in our project progression. We scaled back our outreach efforts in order to focus more on our registration-based programs. However we did manage to still be involved in a few awesome initiatives.
From January to June we assisted in the Tennis Annex youth outreach project, a city-funded youth-to-youth endeavour. The idea of the project was to reach out to low-income youth who had no previous experience in tennis and train them to become tennis instructors. We are very proud of our four graduates who no only completed the Tennis Annex coach, but also went on to receive OTA scholarships to complete the Level 1 Instructors course at Tennis Canada. Furthermore, two of the youth are now on staff for the Sunshine Project in paid instructor positions for a second consecutive year.
In July we worked with the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Foundation for a fourth year to gain sponsorship for our friends at YMCA St. Francis and YMCA University City Centre. It is our pleasure to contribute a high quality tennis experience to their summer camp! 45 campers were sponsored in 2013. In September Jumpstart also sponsored 27 students for an after school tennis program from Queen Victoria P.S., a TDSB school located in a designated priority neighbourhood.
Additionally, for the first time ever our team worked with KidSport, in partnership with Pine Point Tennis Club, to sponsor 7 low-income families. These lessons took place every weekend at Pine Point for the remaining fall season.
2012 was a great year for sponsors of Wilmington Tennis. Two of the largest tennis outreach projects in the city were run by our group. The first was sponsored by Power of Sport 4 Kids, the charity arm of Forzani Group Inc. The $75,000 donation to St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club went directly to the enriched tennis experience for over 500 campers at both the Jane / Finch and Weston-Mount Dennis sites. Tennis was integrated into the daily camp routine and equipment was distributed in hopes that the program may continue.
Additionally, the City of Toronto sponsored a collaborative application for the Albion Gardens Community Tennis Club outreach project. This project saw 88 low-income children participate in tennis lessons twice per week, 90 minutes lessons, for eight weeks. The project also included a take-home racquet, a trip to Roger’s Cup, and a huge family BBQ / tournament to wrap up the event. We were extremely proud to have had several families return to a Wilmington Tennis program for subsequent sessions in order to continue participating in tennis!
2011 was a fantastic year. It was the first time Wilmington Tennis worked extensively with the Jumpstart Foundation, the charity branch of Canadian Tire.
Jumpstart sponsored approximately 200 children from a variety of local camps in the Jane and Finch area to participate in outreach tennis. These camps included:
The Bowen Foundation summer camp, lead by the lovely Marjorie Bowen out of Weston C.I.
University City Centre recreation camp
Kidzfest, a 3-week summer camp organized by the University Presbyterian Church
YMCA summer camp at St. Francis and University City Centre
Check out our youtube video offering a recap of our magical summer.
Our Kidzfest group was also fotunate enough to receive Roger’s Cup tickets gratis from Ward 8 Councillor Anthony Perruzza! This was a special event for us as many had never been to the Rexall Centre before, even though the incredible tennis facility is a mere 15 minute walk from the camp.
Each outreach initiative is unique, complex, and requires collaboration if it is to be successful. Let us work with you!
Our team is always eager to make new community connections. If you are a not-for-profit organization or other neighbourhood agency that would like to integrate tennis into your activities, we would be thrilled to work with you. Please contact our outreach team at firstname.lastname@example.org with your proposed project.