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After 30 successful seasons, Arthur has decided that this will be his last as Wanless Tennis’ Head Pro. Arthur isn’t “hanging up his racquet” as he will continue to be deeply involved in Tennis through his active role on the OTA’s board, the board of the Southampton Tennis Club, various other tennis activities, and naturally, playing tennis.
Arthur will lead our Instruction team through to the end of this tennis season, and The Board will soon begin the process of recruiting a new Head Pro for the 2023 season.
Arthur’s tennis story began with taking junior lessons in the summers at the Southampton Tennis Club, where he also started his tennis teaching career as an instructor in the summer. Arthur played high school tennis at Lawrence Park Collegiate, before attending Scarborough College, and the University of Toronto where he taught tennis to other students through the U of T Athletic Association.
Not thinking he could make tennis a living, upon graduating from university Arthur took full-time employment in the group pension and investment sector working for several major insurance companies spanning a successful 25 year career, all the while teaching tennis part-time. There were several occurrences where he would have an out of province meeting and ended up changing on the plane to arrive at the courts for his programs. In 2005, shortly after the City of Toronto amalgamation Arthur gave up his office for full-time coaching and has never looked back.
Over his past 30 years, Arthur has taught thousands of children from the Wanless Park neighbourhood to play tennis. Many of these players have gone on to play on the Lawrence Park Collegiate tennis team, literally following in Arthur’s footsteps. Some of these players have taken their instructor’s certification and in turn, taught more Wanless children to play tennis. In fact, it would be hard for Arthur to walk up Yonge Street without running into a child who learned to play tennis in one of his programs. It’s entirely possible that some of these kids came to his tennis lessons because of the Saturday Morning Fun program which ended with donuts. Whatever the reason, countless kids learned to play tennis with Arthur and his team.
In addition to teaching many children to play tennis, Arthur also introduced thousands of adults to the game over the years through his introduction to tennis programs. Once adults graduated from the beginner programs they joined popular Wanless programs like Houseleague, Socials, Cardio tennis or other Adult Lesson programs. Many of us have enjoyed participating in games like Winners, King/Queen of the court, or Around the World, during one of Arthur’s social events. Early in his days at Wanless, Arthur designed the indestructible Barney & Teletubby target stands - an invention that has withstood the test of time and helped members try to bring some aim to their game.
Arthur is known, not only for the technical aspects of teaching the tennis game, but also for imparting tactics and strategy to his students. Many sit on the bench by the courts after a loss and think “what would Arthur say?” Probably one of the following: “move, stop & hit”, “split step”, “the net player should earn 2 points per game”, “serve to the T in doubles”, “when should your foot be on the gas vs. the brake”, “never play way behind the baseline”, “hit through the second window”, “Angles, angles, angles”, and on and on. So many players have been heard saying “we need to play Arthur tennis” on deuces (which means “play smart for these next 2 points, this is not the time to swing for the fences”). Conversely, after a win, we pat ourselves on the back and say to ourselves that Arthur would be so proud of some aspect of our game. Humour aside, many of us have learned to win in different ways through the knowledge, tactics and techniques gained from him on the Wanless Tennis courts.
On behalf of our membership, we want to thank Arthur for teaching us the game, improving our skills and instilling a love of tennis to so many players of all ages. He is in good company choosing this season to move on to the next phase of his career - maybe he’ll have a chance to hit a few balls with Serena Williams or Roger Federer with all their collective free time. We wish Arthur all the best and we hope to see him applying his tactics and techniques on the Wanless courts. Please join us at the AGM on October 15 where we will be celebrating Arthur’s career and impact on Wanless Tennis and its members.