TORONTO, November 12, 2020 (Tennis Canada Press Release)
On Monday, Tennis Canada launched a new fundraising campaign – titled (Re)build a #TennisNation – to support tennis across the country at all levels, including its High-Performance program, national events as well as community and grassroots initiatives which were all impacted due to the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tennis in Canada was soaring to new heights with international on-court success and grassroots growth of the game, before COVID-19 brought plans and programs to a standstill. With the help and support of tennis fans across the country, the (Re)build a #TennisNation campaign will raise funds to ensure Tennis Canada can remain focused on leading the growth of the sport in our country and ensuring Canada remains a world-leading tennis nation.
2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, ATP star Félix Auger-Aliassime and Co-CEO of Spin Master Anton Rabie will personally match every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000. That means everyone’s donation will be quadrupled. This is the second year in a row that Andreescu and Auger-Aliassime have invested back into Canadian tennis following their involvement in the #WhatItTakes campaign in 2019.
“Canadian tennis has experienced great success in recent years, but unfortunately 2020 has been a difficult one for all players, from the professional level to grassroots,” Andreescu said. “I have no doubt tennis in Canada will rebound and the country will continue to establish itself as an inspiring tennis nation. I feel that giving back to my sport via this campaign is the right thing to do in order for the next crop of promising players to succeed. I have received a lot of support on my tennis journey, and they deserve the same.”
“It is so important to me that I am able to give in support of this campaign,” Auger-Aliassime added. “This year has meant hardship for a lot of people, so it’s a priority for me to support young tennis players so that they can meet their potential. I hope lots of Canadians will join us and do the same. I’m grateful that I am in a position to contribute so that young tennis players across Canada are able to access the same opportunities as I did, despite the financial effects of the pandemic.”
“Tennis Canada’s up-and-coming players and coaches have really suffered as a result of funding shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Anton Rabie, Co-CEO of Spin Master, commented. “To see Bianca and Félix give back in this way proves what great role models they are for players and fans across Canada. It’s amazing to see young, successful players take on such a leadership role in the campaign and give back so that the next generation get the necessary support to fulfill their potential. Bianca and Félix’s generosity inspired me to get involved in the campaign and make a contribution. I hope that by matching dollar-for-dollar, we will encourage people across Canada to come forward with their donations and support the continued growth of exciting Canadian tennis.”
Following the postponement of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank events in Toronto and Montreal, Tennis Canada is set to lose a staggering $17 million in 2020. This is due to a dramatic loss in revenue from the tournaments – the profits of which account for nearly 90% of the financial investment in the development of the sport each year.
“The reality is that the serious shortfall in the resources necessary to fund a world-class, High-Performance program could extend for the next five years, if not longer,” Michael Downey, CEO of Tennis Canada, said. “Canada’s younger generation of athletes could be deprived of the necessary support to exceed their expectations and develop into future champions on the world stage, inspiring the next generation in the process. Donating today will help give our proven High-Performance program what it takes to reach our goals and provide crucial support for tennis at all levels, from grassroots to national events.”
Donations to the campaign can be made online by visiting www.tenniscanada.com/donate.