Eric Knoester, Richmond Country Club and Okanagan Mission Tennis Club were honoured for their service to the sport with TPA Excellence Awards. The awards were presented at the annual TPA national coaching conference on March 2nd at Toronto’s Aviva Centre.

Eric Knoester of British Columbia is this year’s recipient of the Club Professional Excellence Award. At Victoria’s Panorama Recreation Centre, Knoester oversees four staff members to manage six courts in the community centre. As a certified Coach 2, he spends over 20 hours a week on the court, but his contribution to the sport goes far beyond just serving the people of Victoria. Each year Knoester runs a professional women’s tennis event and a junior ITF event on site, while still always ensuring his doors are open for hosting TPA professional development events.

Two facilities in BC were also recognized with Excellence Awards for their outstanding contributions to the sport and their community this year. Richmond Country Club was the winner of the Year-Round Facility Excellence Award. Recent renovations have updated the club, including the addition of a four-court bubble for year-round use. In addition to hosting the 2016 Tennis BC Conference by TPA, the club has also hosted a men’s professional ITF Futures event for the past three years. When not hosting premier tournaments, Richmond Country Club also runs programs open to the public, and hosts several Future Star events, along with provincials for Tennis BC. About 80-100 children have taken advantage of the weekly junior programming, and the club boasts 250+ tennis members.

Okanagan Mission Tennis Club is the recipient of the Seasonal Facility Excellence Award. The club has six outdoor courts and all coaching pros are Tennis Canada certified to serve approximately 380 members. Okanagan Mission Tennis Club runs one to three sanctioned tournaments each year, including the Miele Provincial Championships. They also assist in running “try it” days at local schools, and currently have 120 children participating in organized leagues across six schools. In addition to its work in developing the game in the community, Okanagan Mission Tennis Club is also recognized for its outstanding philanthropic efforts. For the past 15 years, the club has held a fundraiser which has brought in over $60,000 for the Cardiac Unit at Kelowna General Hospital. The club also runs the UBCO Charity tournament which assists the university team to cover costs such as travel, uniforms and indoor court time for hosting other teams and practice.

Congratulations to Eric, RCC and OMTC for their achievement!

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