For over 20 years Toronto’s first and only professional tennis tournament has had a special place in my heart. Now known as Rogers Cup, my earliest memories date back to being 10 years old tagging along to watch some of the world’s best players back when it was called the Players and DuMaurier Open. It was then I knew it was the sport I wanted to play seriously and I had dreams of one day playing on centre court. At 13, I no longer wanted to sit and watch matches from my Mom’s company’s private box and starting working each summer on the “Ball Boy” squad, quickly working my way up to an “On-Court” Supervisor by the time I was 15. As a kid, nothing was cooler than being on centre court under the starts for a big match.
As my own game excelled and I began traveling extensively as a junior, I stopped working at the tournament but some of my fondest memories from my childhood has been on the grounds of this tournament held at York University. Fast forward many (many, many) years LOL and I am still heading to the tournament each summer, but this time with clients, brands I work with or to cheer on my former hitting partners who are still on tour.
Montreal’s Franckie Abanda – National Bank of Canada Ambassador
This year, the National Bank of Canada celebrates it’s 10th year as the title sponsor…you may have noticed I recently I traveled to Montreal for the bank’s #ALTCourt soirée to commemorate their anniversary. Unlike the rest of the sponsors that have preceded National Bank, their partnership extends beyond the staging of Rogers Cup. They have helped many young athletes reach their full potential on the international tennis circuit by providing performance grants and brings significant support to the sport providing opportunities for future Canadian starts like my friend Franckie Abanda. And if that’s not enough, National Bank’s “On The Ball” initiative has been a huge hit – no pun intended! The program collects tennis balls that have lost their bounce and places them on the bottom of classroom chairs across Ontario and Quebec. This reduces the noise levels in classrooms, which increasing students’ ability to focus. To date, the program has collected over 1 million balls helping almost 340,000 students.
Photos by Meghan Yuri Young
I am back at the grounds today to watch the top 3 seeded players take on their opponents and will be enjoying some complimentary drinks between matches at the National Bank booth by centre court. If you’re heading to the tournament today, be sure it to check it out. You can win seat upgrades, prizes, plus their GIF cam and cinq a sept (5-7pm) cocktail hour is the perfect way to pass some time in between games. Get social and make sure to share your images on your favourite social channels from the booth using the hashtag #MyAdvantage.
Tickets for the remaining matches are still available for sale. Head to RogersCup.com to purchase online.