Back in 1998, the first one week Futures Tournaments were launched. These tournaments had to be scheduled in a minimum of three consecutive weeks of $10,000 each or two consecutive weeks of $15,000 each in prize money, effectively replacing 65% of the Satellite Circuits that were being run. As a result players were given far more opportunities to earn ranking points.
In 1998 there were 212 Futures Tournaments offering a total of $2,635,000 in prize money. By 2004, a total of 356 Futures tournaments were played with a total of $4,150,000 in prize money, and the ITF Pro Circuit has only continued to grow by leaps and bounds ever since, including the addition of the City of Kelowna in 2012.
The Okanagan Little Aces Tennis Community program is an exciting, new community tennis initiative for U12 in the Okanagan, BC developed by Tennis Canada and Tennis BC, in partnership with the City of Kelowna and the School District # 23. Utilizing the progressive tennis method, the Okanagan Little Aces Community program encourages young players to play quickly and successfully, demonstrating that tennis is not only a great and fun game to play but a sport of a lifetime!
Modeled along the lines of the very successful pilot program run in Mississauga, Ontario, last summer, the program is designed to introduce affordable and accessible tennis programs for children (able body and wheelchair) at community centres, parks, clubs, and schools. The program is a collaborative effort between Tennis Canada and Tennis BC to grow the game of tennis by bringing more young people into the game of tennis and keeping them playing.
The Okanagan Little Aces Community launch uses the BTC community development principles while at the same time addressing the national need to develop the first three stages of the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) and help introduce tennis at an earlier age, i.e. at the same age other sports are being introduced to Canadian families (ages 3.5 – 6 years old).
Kelowna Futures Tennis is a non-profit initiative dedicated to promoting tennis in the Okanagan Valley. Made up of local business and community leaders, Kelowna Futures Tennis is committed to bringing the very best of professional tennis to Kelowna and area while growing and strengthening our overall tennis community.