Welcome to the International Club of Canada
"Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean "

Welcome to the International Club of Canada

 

Aims of the International Lawn Tennis Club of Canada

 

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 42 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.

 

 

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2022 Sportsmanship Award - Frank Sedgman

2022 Sportsmanship Award - Frank Sedgman

The legendary Frank Sedgman, or ‘Sedge’ as he’s widely known, was presented with the 2022 Jean Jean Borotra CQS Sportsmanship award at a gala luncheon held at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club on the middle Sunday of Wimbledon, July 3.

Honoring Frank and celebrating the 70th anniversary celebration of his Wimbledon triple crown win in 1952, the event was brilliantly hosted by Kooyong, along with the IC and the Australian Davis Cup foundation.

Frank’s 1952 sweep of singles, doubles and mixed remains an extraordinary feat. And he’d done the same at the US Championships the previous year, such was his dominance.

Turning 95 this year, Frank, with his lovely wife Jean, had originally planned to travel to Wimbledon for the anniversary, but when this was not possible, the Kooyong event evolved.

The Sedgman family were seated at the ‘Royal Box’ table, and the lunch had a very festive Wimbledon theme, including an Aussie take on strawberries and cream!

Over 200 people attended, enjoying former Davis Cup player Sam Groth as MC, with video tributes and messages from many in the tennis world: Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Todd Martin, Wimbledon Chairman Ian Hewitt (giving the luncheon a ‘behind the scenes’ video  tour of the All England Club), Paul McNamee with IC Chair Peter McQuibban and Sir Michael Hintze saluting Frank from Wimbledon, and IC Australia President Kerryn Pratt announcing the Award. Neale Fraser also spoke on the day, and musical opera star David Hobson was a hit performing some of Frank’s favourite songs.

IC Australia’s Cedric Mason and Chris Kachel presented Frank with the Borotra trophy, a replica, as Frank’s was awaiting him at Wimbledon! The Sedge edition will arrive in Melbourne shortly.

Frank was truly delighted to receive the IC’s ultimate accolade which is richly deserved on so many counts - his brilliant playing record, his sportsmanship, his pioneering role in pro tennis and for the contributions he’s made to the IC in Australia and worldwide over many decades. He was part of the founding of the IC in Australia, served as President, remains Patron, and is currently the President of the IC Council.

Sedge was rated world number 1 as both an amateur and a professional player.

As an amateur he won 5 majors in singles, 8 in mixed and 9 in doubles, a total of 22 grand slam titles before the age of 25 when he turned pro. Alongside fellow Aussie Ken McGregor, he achieved the Grand Slam in men’s doubles in 1951 and in the 50’s led Australia to Davis Cup victory on three occasions.

Sedge is a great champion on court and off, revered in Australia and around the globe, truly living the IC motto of ‘hands across the net, friendships across the ocean’ throughout his illustrious tennis life.

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