In the Spring of 2010, Tennis Canada in partnership with the Ontario Tennis Association, the City of Mississauga, the Peel District School Board, and community clubs and partners, launched a new major Community Tennis pilot program in Mississauga, Ontario. This initiative introduces affordable and accessible tennis programs for children in schools, gyms, community centres, and clubs. Along with the partners, Tennis Canada has financially invested in this project to help grow the sport. “The goal of this pilot program is to encourage Mississauga youth and families to live healthy, active lifestyles by playing tennis,” said Hatem McDadi, Vice-President, Tennis Development, Tennis Canada.
One of the unique features of this initiative is the scaled-down tennis format that uses age/skill appropriate equipment and court sizes (Progressive Tennis) throughout the entire pathway. This ensures both early success and enjoyment. Moreover, a strong linkage is built between the programs at the school level, in the clubs and community centres.
This project, the first of its kind for the sport, achieved many great accomplishments in the first year of it's implementation. Based on the success of the Mississauga model, Tennis Canada has decided to expand this initiative to 30 other major cities across the country in the next 6 years.
In the fall of 2010, Mississauga Little Aces Tennis Community ("MLATC") was born. This committee consists of members of the community who are representatives of various community organizations, stakeholders or partners.
Currently, there are several pillars within MLATC. These represent the areas of focus to recruit and retain participants over time in an effort to make tennis a sport for life. The pillars include Tennis in schools, Progressive Tennis programs in community and indoor Clubs, City of Mississauga Parks & Rec tennis programs, the Little Aces Minor League and annual Try Events.