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 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.

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An IC Junior's sense of gratitude and perspective

An IC Junior's sense of gratitude and perspective

Alongside most of the IC events, we try to organise a tennis clinic for less advantaged children and for those in difficult circumstances. Not only does this reflect the IC spirit but it is also close to our hearts with the worldwide IC Philanthropy projects.

Often, this is the most rewarding part of the event and always receives positive comments and emotions from all involved. The IC Rod Laver Junior Challenge 2019 regional events were no exception, so much so that a 16 year old girl from the IC of USA, expressed her gratitude and positivity in the following personal note:

"I would like to reach out and thank you personally for the amazing event in the Bahamas. Not only was the tennis competitive and exciting, it was great to meet kids from other countries. But, the activity that really stood out for me from the whole weekend was the service work. Working with the kids was an eye opening experience that helped me understand how grateful I should be for the opportunities given to me. Initially, I did not know what to expect from working with the kids from families who lost their homes to the hurricane, but what I did not expect was to see the joy on the kids faces, taking an unfortunate event and still being able to see the bright side. That is the type of mentality I want to bring into my everyday life. Thank you again for the great event."

Not only do we hope to make a difference to the lives of many young disadvantaged people, but also to give everyone the opportunity to learn life skills and have unique experiences through the sport of tennis.

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