Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Adventure at altitude for local tennis players

Shane Nicholls is playing the best tennis of
his life after spending a semester at
Colorado State University-Pueblo.

(Courtesy of Canstar Community News, Avi Saper)

Shane Nicholls was starting to think playing university tennis this past year just wasn’t in the cards.

But that all changed when Saul Shrom called him up and suggested Nicholls think about joining him and another Winnipegger, Alex Lesiuk, at Colorado State University-Pueblo for the winter semester.

Nicholls, a 2012 grad of Westwood Collegiate, had enrolled at the University of Winnipeg last fall, but was still hoping to land a spot on a college tennis team.

"Saul talked me into how they needed a player, and things started rolling from there," said the St. James resident. "They were very helpful with financial aid, so I decided to go for it."

And with that, half of the six-man ThunderWolves team was from Winnipeg.

"The tennis community in Winnipeg isn’t the largest," Nicholls said. "But I was never that close with Alex and Saul before and we didn’t play on a regular basis. It was a pretty cool aspect that half the team was from Winnipeg and you get to be lifelong friends."

The first thing that grabbed his attention was the effect that Colorado’s thin air had not only on his lungs, but on the way the ball came off the racquet.

"Saul warned me about the altitude change," Nicholls said. "I found out my conditioning wasn’t my strongest suit."

The way that balls went sailing seemingly forever also caught Nicholls off guard. He had to adjust to not having as much time to prepare for a shot, and to keeping his own shots from going long.

"One I got adjusted I thought I was playing some of my best tennis," he said.

The ThunderWolves improved as the season went on, finishing in the middle of the pack in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

"It was a great year," said Shrom, a Gray Academy grad who was in his third year at CSU-Pueblo. "Alex and I played some good doubles together, and Shane improved a ton this year."

Another major adjustment for any player when they first arrive on a university tennis team is the fact that they’re no longer playing an individual sport. Rather than winning or losing for himself, Nicholls was suddenly part of a six-man squad representing an entire school.

"It was really nerve wracking at first," he said. "But once you got to know the team well, everyone was welcoming and treated me very well."

Nicholls isn’t sure where his tennis will take him next fall, but he is looking forward to seeing how his college experience will serve him on the local scene this summer. The Taylor Tennis Club and Deer Lodge Tennis Club member said he felt like a stronger player when he returned to the local courts last week.

"I felt like I was more into the points," he said.

With the high number of matches played over the winter, and vastly improved conditioning, Nicholls thinks he could have the most successful summer of his career.

For an additional listing of Tennis Manitoba college updates, visit\tennismanitoba

Sports Roundup: Manitoba Team Tennis League

(Courtesy of Canstar Community News, Avi Saper)

Who said tennis was an individual sport? Certainly not the folks at Tennis Manitoba.

The organization is launching the Manitoba Team Tennis League this summer, and is looking for players.

The league will run on Fridays from the middle of June through the end of July.

Teams of four to six men, women and/or juniors will compete in one of four divisions based on skill level.

Matches will be played on courts throughout the city, with the finals scheduled for July 26 to 28 at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club in Wildwood Park.

The competition will have a Davis Cup format, with four singles and one doubles match used to determine a winner.

For more details, visit

Monday, 13 May 2013

Tennis Canada Officiating Clinic

David Scrapneck calling lines at the 2012 Manshield Tennis
Futures, Sargent Park Tennis Garden in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Tennis Canada Officiating Clinic
Dates: May 24-25, 2013
Fee: $25

Tennis Manitoba in coordination with Tennis Canada, is offering an Officials training course focused on line umpiring. Officials are an integral part of competitive tennis at all levels, both on-court and off. Qualified Officials are essential to the credible functioning of all competitive tennis events in Canada; without the presence of appropriately certified Officials, the respective professional and international governing bodies (ATP, WTA and ITF) would not sanction tournaments held in Canada.

Tennis Manitoba/Canada Officials share a passion for tennis. Officials are paid for their work in professional tournaments, and for their work in national, provincial and local tournaments.

The primary goal of the Officiating Department is to train more and better officials and to build a system that provides ample opportunity to pursue Officiating as both a pastime and a profession, thus creating a complete Officiating pathway from grass roots to high performance levels. Secondary goals include promoting an awareness of the role of Officiating both within the tennis community and among the general public, introducing the use of Officials into all levels of competitive tennis, and improving the conditions of all Officials working in Canada.

Line Umpire

The Line Umpire’s primary role, as a member of the on-court officiating team, is to assist the Chair Umpire in determining if a ball falls within or outside of the boundaries of the court. In addition, a Line Umpire calls foot-faults and net serves (in the case of a Net Umpire), and assists by performing other duties that are assigned by the Chair Umpire (for example, escorting players to the toilet during the course of a match and preparing and performing ball changes). As an assistant to the Chair Umpire, a Line Umpire will thus never work on-court in a match that is not officiated by a Chair Umpire.

In order to become a Tennis Canada certified Official, a person must first attend an Introduction to Officiating Clinic, the entry-level training clinic, designed for novices to Tennis Officiating. The objective of this clinic, which is generally organized by the individual Provincial Tennis Associations using Tennis Canada training materials and Tennis Canada certified instructors, is to introduce new Officials to the Rules of Tennis, the Code of Conduct, and the basic techniques and procedures of Officiating. The clinic specifically presents an introduction to the basic elements of three Officiating roles: the Line Umpire, the Chair Umpire, and the Roving Umpire.

After successfully completing the introductory clinic and after having acquired some practical experience, new Officials can progress in officiating by attending more advanced clinics where their abilities and knowledge will be further developed. Many Officials choose to work mainly as Line Umpires for several years before deciding to undertake more specialized roles (e.g., Chair Umpire, Roving Umpire, and Referee).

Local Certification: Attend Introductory clinic, work for 2 days or 4 matches, and receive 1 satisfactory evaluation.

Provincial: Work for 5 days or 10 matches, receive 1 satisfactory evaluation.

National: Work for 10 Days Or 20 Matches Receive 2 Satisfactory evaluations.

International: Rating of 2.0 or below Classification of: I1- Top Level I2 I3 

See also Tennis Canada Officiating Program

Friday, 10 May 2013

2013 Rogers Rookie Tour

It’s a lot to ask a young person to jump from entry-level tennis to the provincial competitive junior circuit. The Rogers Rookie Tour makes that jump more of a step, allowing children to play competitive tennis at an introductory level.

Tennis Manitoba has several Rogers Rookie Tour events on its 2013 schedule, which creates a player-friendly environment for children to be introduced to competition at a level suitable for their age and understanding. The matches are played with slower red, orange or green balls on smaller courts, using modified scoring. It is a fun way to start tennis and makes it easy for children to play the game, develop good technique and tactics and a love for the sport.

When sports are easier to learn, kids have more fun, gain confidence, and are more likely to continue to play. The Rogers Rookie Tour is a great place to start the passion for tennis that can last a lifetime.

To learn more about upcoming Rogers Rookie Tour events, please visit

> Rogers Rookie Tour

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Tennis Manitoba launches new team tennis league

Tennis Manitoba is proud to announce the new Manitoba Team Tennis League, which will start its inaugural season on June 14th and run Fridays until the end of July. With four divisions to accommodate a variety of player skill levels, there is plenty of opportunity to meet new people, have a good time, and step up your game.

Teams of 4 to 6 players will be made up of men, women and/or juniors, and have the opportunity to play matches at a variety of court locations across Winnipeg. Division championships will be played on July 26th - 28th at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club, during a soon to be announced professional tennis event.

League participants are encouraged to sign up as a team, and will be accepted on a first come basis due to the limited number of team positions available during the inaugural season. Tennis Manitoba is able to assist those looking for a team to join, or guidance on which division their team should be entered into.

For further details on league registration, division levels, match formats, and court venues click here.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

What's the Racquet?

Is this the summer you want to try your hand at tennis or badminton?

Join Winnipeg in motion, Ryan Giesbrecht of Manitoba Badminton and Marlon Goldburn of Tennis Manitoba to learn how to get started and where to play.

When: Friday, May 24, 2013, 12:10 to 12:50 p.m.
Where: Millennium Library, 2nd Floor, Carol Shields Auditorium

Admission is FREE and registration is NOT required.

For more information, contact Winnipeg in motion at 204-940-3648 or visit

’Peg invasion on Colorado college tennis program

Saul Shrom was one of three Winnipeggers
 on the CSU-Pueblo men's tennis team
this year. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

(Courtesy of Canstar Community News, Avi Saper)

The men’s tennis team at Colorado State University-Pueblo had a serious connection to Winnipeg this season.

Three of the six members of the ThunderWolves were Winnipeggers, thanks to a strange turn of events than landed Saul Shrom at the campus about two hours south of Denver.

Shrom had signed on with a school in Cleveland in 2010, and was ready to go when he got a call at the end of July saying the school had cancelled its tennis program.

"They told us the coach had left them last minute and they had no time to hire a new coach," said the Tuxedo resident, who graduated from the Gray Academy.

The coach had a different version of events, but the result was the same: Shrom was without a place to play. Even if he had decided to attend one of the local universities, he was out of luck because most of the classes were full.

He contacted every school with a tennis program he could think of, and eventually got a response from CSU-Pueblo. A few days later, he was a ThunderWolf.

"I loved it down here," he said. "They hadn’t had a Canadian on the team before me."

After Shrom enjoyed his freshman experience so much, he was eager to help recruit other Winnipegers to the team. Last year he was joined by Alex Lesiuk, a Vincent Massey grad who had spent a previous semester at St. Cloud State in Minnesota.

"He was back in Winnipeg for a year and a half itching to play tennis," Shrom said. "It worked out last minute, and he came out."

Lesiuk played the last two seasons with Shrom, and graduated last week.

And this past semester saw the addition of another Winnipeg product to the team’s roster, as Westwood Collegiate grad Shane Nicholls came to Colorado.

"It was pretty cool this year to have three guys from Winnipeg," Shrom said. "Bringing them out here made it feel like old times."

Shrom played hockey until he was 11, but decided at that point to focus completely on tennis. He saw older players from the Winnipeg Winter Club, where he practised, going on to American colleges, and dreamt of doing the same.

"My dad always told me if I picked a sport I should pick one that you can really go somewhere with," he said. "I thought there were more opportunities in tennis."

The NCAA experience has been a good one for Shrom. As opposed to Canadian university tennis, where there aren’t a lot of tournaments, the ThunderWolves are competing regularly against players from all over the world.

"I’ve probably played 20 or 30 guys from Europe," Shrom said. "And next year we won’t have a single American on our team."

The ThunderWolves had an up and down season in 2012-13, closing it out with a fifth place finish at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament.

"It was a great year," Shrom said. "Alex and I played some good doubles together, and Shane improved a ton this year."

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Tennis Manitoba hires Community Development Manager

Marlon Goldburn is the new Tennis Manitoba
Community Development Manager.

Tennis Manitoba is excited to announce the appointment of Marlon Goldburn as Community Development Manager. Marlon has been involved in tennis programming in Manitoba for the past few years as assistant pro at Tuxedo Tennis Club, as well as facilitating wheel sport programs for Tennis Manitoba.

As of May 1st, Marlon takes over the full time position from Rob Langan. Rob will spend the summer as head pro of Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club, and as tournament director of a women's professional challenger event before heading to Europe to continue his studies.

Tennis Manitoba would like to take this opportunity to thank Rob for all his contributions and dedication to developing community tennis in Manitoba. We wish him well in his future endeavors.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Are Manitoba university students up for the challenge?

University of Manitoba tennis team participated in
Saskatoon, February 2011. Photo courtesy of
The University of Manitoba Tennis Club.

Tennis Canada is currently looking for university and college athletes to participate in the Campus Tennis Challenge which takes place May 17th - 19th in Saskatoon, SK. The weekend tournament is open to all students currently attending a university or college in Canada, with the focus on schools currently without a varsity or club tennis program.

The Campus Tennis Challenge is a team event which provides athletes with a high level of competition while focusing on the development and growth of university and college tennis across the country. For additional details on team eligibility, match formats, registration deadline, fees, and contact information, please click here.

See also: Halifax Campus Tennis Challenge