Commitment to community Tennis

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Commitment to community Tennis

Dear Friends and Family of BTC,

I hope this message finds you well. I trust all of you have had an opportunity to experience firsthand, the superior court surface at Bellbury, as compared to other community tennis clubs within the Greater Toronto Region. I feel rewarded and proud of the hard work accomplished to bring this project together. As you are all well aware, projects like this do not come easy. Your Board has been working on this project for the past two years tirelessly. As word begins to spread about our beautiful site, undoubtedly, membership will grow. It is for this reason that I ask from all of you to help bring tennis back to Bellbury through your individual active participation. Community clubs are at the heart of where you live, play and socialise. I hope you will join me and others currently on the Board, to help fulfill the true spirit of neighbourhood activism and become involved to see how you can be a part of our terrific team of volunteers. Socials, junior development, team tennis, special events, inter-county, league play, ladders and evening adult mix-ins, are all but a few events I would like to bring back to our Club. To do this, requires input, and more importantly your help.

How can you help? Our current financial position is in the “red” (meaning in debt). As part of the facilities upgrade, assessments were carried out to see if items such as nets, posts and windscreens could be recycled and used again. Unfortunately, nothing was salvageable, due to its tired and weathered state. Consequently, the last remaining item in need of replacement are windscreens. As part of our own cost of repair, all of our Club savings went towards the final re-surfacing project as well as the purchase of new posts and nets. Our budget did not include the cost of new windscreens and thus the reason for why our perimeter fence is currently bare. I believe, united we can reach out to various donors within and outside our club to help sponsor the purchase of windscreens, but again we need your help. We are currently looking for person(s) who wish to leave a personal legacy donation starting from $50 to $1000. For donors who wish to contribute $500 or $1000 we will provide the choice of having one tennis court named in their honour for up to 2 years as well of having their name inscribed on a plaque placed inside the club for life. I know that many of you may have contacts outside of the club, and for those reading this message who are not yet members, I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself and share with you the vision I have for tennis.

Tennis runs through my veins, I began playing at the age of 4 after being inspired by my mother as I watched and cheered for her as she competed for trophy after trophy. I grew up playing on Bellbury’s Tennis Courts and I still cite Bellbury as where my heart belongs, despite having played for, and at various other clubs for competitive reasons throughout the GTA. My career in tennis grew with me as my provincial rankings rose. Tennis eventually helped carried me through both, my undergraduate and post-graduate degrees while affording me, the opportunity to teach others as a source of income during my summer and winter months. I have befriended and met many bright, spirited and highly talented individuals through my tennis career. I have shared my love for the game by volunteering at Tennis Canada for over a decade leading Canada’s ballcrew through the late 80’s and into the 90’s. I know and understand the game and what it can do to build a strong mind, body and spirit. Tennis has also allowed to me travel aboard to both compete at a high level, and to see places that some can only view through television and internet. I am truly lucky and inspired to help bring that energy and commitment to a community club that first brought the game to me. I believe that tennis should be accessible and barrier-free. The best should not be reserved for those who are the very privileged. The introduction to the game of tennis should also not be focused on traditional cultural callings. I intend to bring tennis to every age, gender, religion, culture, and ethnicity to help widen the talent pool of would be tennis players. Canada has the most multi-cultural and diverse make-up. Embracing this fabric only strengthens our commitment to diversity and tolerance while promoting the game I love. Please join me in bringing play back into sport by contributing where you can. Bellbury is “your” club and its future lay in the hands of those who become active participants. Once again, thank you for your time and patience in seeing the restoration of Bellbury come together. I look forward to meeting each of you and I would encourage you to speak with one of the Board members to see how you can help.

Ps. Alex Cooper and George Fowler, two of my former coaches (R.I.P.), I know you would want me to show my love for the game to all, as you did with me.

Yours very truly,

Raphael Leong
BTC President  

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