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.
We saw a great week of competition and camaraderie with the IC of USA team emerging undefeated and as the 2018 Champions with a final day win over the IC of Uruguay. The strong Italian team came in second with Uruguay third. Host nation Japan took fourth place and South Africa the fifth.
The final place went to India who, although not recording a win, played well and pushed most teams to several tie breaks.
The overall standard was high and in depth. The Italian team, with all four players ranked in the top 200 ITF 18 & under rankings, only managed second place and were given some close matches by all teams.
The juniors have had a great week of tennis and played as many matches as if they were in a 32-draw tournament in both singles and doubles and making the finals in both events. So instead of just making finals this week, they have also been making friends in the motto of the IC "Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean".
There were plenty of candidates for the Sportsmanship awards which went to Nishant Dabas of India and Linge Steenkamp from South Africa with honourable mentions to both Japanese boys.
At the final night dinner the IC of Japan were thanked for putting on an outstanding week that culturally was the best ever - an outstanding Welcome Dinner with her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado in attendance, a clinic for disadvantaged kids with the juniors helping, dressing everyone in Kimonos, a visit to a Buddhist Temple, a tea ceremony and caligraphy class.
At the final night dinner the juniors spoke and explained the meaning of their country flags to everyone, thanked the IC and IC Japan for putting on what many of them expressed as the best week of tennis they have ever had.
Half the juniors are now going on to the Grade 1 ITF Junior Tournament in Osaka, Japan where they will continue the friendships they have built this week and use the experience they have gained playing tennis in The Compass IC Junior Challenge Worldwide Finals 2018. All the photos from the event can be viewed and downloaded free here by courtesy of Yoshiharu Yokoyama and Julian Tatum.
IC junior result 2018_10122018.xlsx