Welcome to the International Club of Canada
"Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean "
To promote friendship and sportsmanship in tennis between Canada and other countries by hosting tennis events with other IC countries and supporting tennis development in Canada by providing mentorship for young tennis players.
The first meeting of Active Members of the International Lawn Tennis Club of Canada was held at the Albany Club in Toronto on Wednesday, August 11, 1965, at 12.30 p.m. Laird Watt, the first president of the Club, was unable to attend and Gilbert Nunns chaired the meeting. In addition to Gilbert those attending the meeting in person or by proxy were familiar names in Canadian tennis history: Peter Barnard, John Bassett, Bob Barnard, François Godbout, Bruce Harrison, Sydney Hermant, Jim Macken, Harry Marpole and Walter Martin. Don Fontana, captain of the Club, agreed to approach the I.C. of the USA for a match in 1966. There were discussions of a black tie dinner, a match against a touring team from England and plans to participate in I.C. matches in Holland. The Canadian I.C. was up and operating. It had officially received “International Club” recognition just six weeks before, at the annual meeting of the Council of I.C.’s held each year during the fortnight of Wimbledon. It joined thirteen other nations with International Clubs, all existing with a common interest in the game of tennis.
The annual match with the USA Club has been the main regular event of the Club since that time, with matches alternating each year between the Donalda Club and various locations in the USA. The Piping Rock Club on Long Island, The Merion Cricket Club in Philadelphia, The West Side Tennis Club on Long Island. In 1971 the matches were divided in an open event competing for the Proctor Cup and a seniors event for the new Lawrence Baker Trophy. Women’s matches were included in the late 90’s and starting in the year 2000 teams will play for the Carole Graebner Trophy.
There is no doubt that tournaments for the Windmill, Christiane Mercelis, and Columbus Trophies represent the highlights of the I.C. Movement. On these occasions many of the now 34 International Clubs meet in team competition. In these tournaments old friendships across the net and across the nations are renewed, and new ones made. Equally enjoyable are the I.C. Tours where teams of I.C. players tour other countries at the invitation of their I.C.’s, or host visiting teams.
This brief review of the Club’s history would not be complete without an expression of gratitude to the spirit behind the creation of the I.C. Club of Canada, the Late Bruce Harrison and those who have served on the Club’s executive, particularly its presidents: Laird Watt, Walter Martin, John Proctor, Jim Skelton, Frank Mott-Trille, Brian Flood and David Dimmer.
The IC Business Report is designed to provide the IC Council and all ICs of the World with a yearly update of the club’s members, events and general activities. It allows ICs to share best practices, to learn from each other, and to give feedback to the IC Council. Furthermore, the Council is then able to monitor ‘issues of major concerns and general improvements’ and to ascertain how it can help to improve these.
38 out of 42 ICs responded to the 2019 survey, which was distributed via Survey Monkey. The missing ICs were Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland and Romania. For completeness, the 2018 report for Finland and the member demographics for Bulgaria from previous years have been included in this analysis for a vis-à-vis comparison. This means we have data for a total of 40 ICs (out of 42), with missing data for Croatia and Romania. Last year we recorded data for 40 ICs (out of 40), including 36 template responses and four email messages.
It is really positive to see such high responses. Ideally, every single IC should be responding as this ensures that the information collected is more informative for both the Council, Regional Representatives and each individual IC.
Each ICs President and Honorary Secretary has already received a copy of their responses and an individual report.
Additionally, the Regional Representatives of the Executive Committee participated in a discussion on the findings and key issues in each region. We have included this analysis at the end of the report and are deeply grateful for their contribution.
For any questions or feedback, please email both Gustavo Herrero (Honorary Secretary) and Tash Starling (Website & Communications) at the IC Council:
IC Junior Challenge
Areas of concern and other comments
Regional Representatives Meeting
Vis-à-vis last year’s Business Returns (taking the 39 respondents which completed both years templates), there has been a modest 1.3% net increase in the total number of members (accounting for deceased members). Gender distribution remains fairly stable over the last seven years, with 71% male and 29% female members. It can be perceived that we are experiencing an aging effect of our membership, with approximately 65% of the total being ‘senior’ (i.e. over 55 for males and over 50 for females), with only 16% in the ‘younger’ category (i.e. under 45 for males and under 40 for females).
Activity remains stable year-on-year. This is still an area that could be improved. It is also a challenge cited by a few ICs.
There are some general consistent areas of concern and request for help cited.
Now in its 96th year, the IC continues to build and broaden members, to increase activity, to promote the objective of good sportsmanship and to enhance the lives of various disadvantaged young people. We continue to encourage new nations to join and are delighted to see the reinstatement of Hong Kong and the formation of the IC of Croatia, bringing up the total IC family to 42 ICs from all continents.
*Number of IC events/ activities, which the club participated in (excluding the IC Junior Challenge): Council events, IC international matches, bilateral matches, internal competitions, and social events..
The following table depicts the percentage of ICs that responded to the concerns listed, in each region.
The Total is the weighted average of each concern (weighed by number of ICs, not by number of Members)
GREEN represents the #1 concern, BLUE the #2 concern, and ORANGE the #3 concern. All regions share the first two concerns.
Australasia and South America differ in regard to the #3 concern.
South Africa/ USA/ Brazil: Vastness of country/ widespread regions
Japan/ Argentina: Remoteness from events
Ireland: Consider events U30
Russia: Consider events U44
Italy/ Luxembourg/ Bahamas: Younger players are unwilling to pay, and/ or expect to be paid#
Canada: Ageing members (37% over 75); combine golf/ tennis events; consider three-day events (two play, one leisure)
Argentina: Possibility of acquiring tickets for Grand Slams
Honorary Secretary Gustavo Herrero and Website and Communications Coordinator Tash Starling held a Zoom meeting with Regional Representatives on Sunday 21 June 2020. Relevant Business Reports information was shared with participants prior to the meeting, and further correspondence followed thereafter.
The group reached consensus in regard to recommendations to be considered by ICs upon addressing the various challenges identified:
Download PDF of this report
Please click on the appropriate stripes to visit the website of an individual country's IC