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 of Australia has launched a new initiative to assist players as they transition to life after professional tennis. The aim of the initiative run by the IC of Australia is to support those retiring as they transition to life after the pro tour by offering; firstly a connection to an ongoing tennis family, then as required, assistance in areas including mentoring, education, job seeking, networking, health and wellbeing.
In partnership with Tennis Australia, the launch of Beyond the Tour (BTT) took place at a cocktail party at the Australian Open. The Vice President of the IC of Australia, Kerryn Pratt, hosted the event with the IC of Australia President, Geoff Masters officially launching the BTT program. There were around 90 attendees from the tennis community. Both current and former players including; John Newcombe, Evonne Cawley, Frank Sedgman, Scott Draper and Janet Young, and Tennis Australia attendees including; CEO Craig Tiley, Chief Tennis Officer Matt Dwyer and one of the excellent line-up of speakers on the night, Head of Performance, Wally Masur.
Seven new members were inducted into the BTT program on the night; Isabella Holland, Ashling Sumner, Adam Hubble, Stephanie Bengson, Greg Jones, Casey Dellacqua, Sally Peers.
The event was hugely enjoyed by all and the IC was praised for recognising and acting on such an important aspect of life after not only professional tennis, but after all professional sports. The event and the initiative was also picked up in various media coverage:
For more information and who to contact, please visit the IC of Australia website