Vancouver, November 30, 2011 Tennis Canada recently named the 2012 National High Performance Wheelchair Program athletes. The program is part of the athlete pathway and is designed for those on track for the Paralympic Games, World Team Cup and the Top 10 in the ITF rankings. The seven nominated athletes will benefit from financial assistance as well as coaching, training and sport science support.
"Through our support we hope to provide the best possible framework for our athletes to assist them to reach their potential and perform to the best of their abilities in this upcoming Paralympic season" says Janet Petras, Director of wheelchair tennis for Tennis Canada.
The nominated athletes are:
Joel Dembe (Toronto, ON), No. 47 ITF ranking
Phillipe Bedard (Montreal, QC), No. 102
Eric Gilbert (St-Raymond, QC), No. 183
Sarah Hunter (Surrey, BC), No. 15
Adrian Dieleman (Hamilton, ON), No. 18
Gary Luker (Ancaster, ON), No. 21
Yuka Chokyu (Vancouver,BC), #30
Not part of the 2012 program is former Canadian No. 1 Yann Mathieu (Trois Rivieres, QC), who announced his retirement earlier this year. Also, not represented in 2012 is Corey Blatchford (Penticton, BC), who is focusing on his professional development for the coming season.
All athletes are currently in full preparation mode for the final stretch of the pre-Paralympic season. Final qualification deadline for London is end of May 2012, which gives the athletes six months to attempt to rack up valuable ranking points for a coveted qualification slot. Players will be heading to tournaments in Australia, Mexico, USA, Europe as well as Canada starting in January of next year.
Other highlights next season include the qualification tournament for World Team Cup in Mexico City (February) for the men's team as well as World Team Cup in Seoul, Korea, (May), for which the quad team has already secured direct qualification.
About Tennis Canada
Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association responsible for leading the growth, promotion and showcasing of tennis in Canada. Tennis Canada owns and operates two of the premier events on the ATP and WTA Tours; Rogers Cup presented by National Bank men's and women's events that rotate annually between Rexall Centre in Toronto and Uniprix Stadium in Montreal. In addition, Tennis Canada owns and operates seven professional ITF sanctioned events and financially supports seven other professional tournaments in Canada. Tennis Canada operates national training centres at the Centre of Excellence in Toronto and at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the International Wheelchair Tennis Association, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada please visit our Web site at: www.LoveMeansNothing.ca.