U of M tennis club looks to serve new experiences

Learn more about why you might want to join the tennis club

While being a student at the U of M can be difficult and stressful, the University of Manitoba Tennis Club (UMTC) can improve students’ and other members of the community’s health and well-being through tennis.

UMTC offers a variety of programs for all walks of life — whether it’s recreational or competitive programs, UMTC offers it all.

The club plays during the evenings at Max Bell Centre on campus, and it is split into two groups. But both the recreational and competitive sides of the club are places in which people can foster friendships and get some exercise. Although, as the name suggests, the competitive side is for those wishing to play more intensely.

The club spans year-round and hosts tryouts at the beginning of each term.

The president of the UMTC, Craig Hillier, put a strong emphasis on the importance of inclusion within the club. He said “equity, diversity and inclusion” are all big parts of the tennis club. “Our club is for anybody,” he added. “I want everybody [to] feel like they belong.”

The tennis club’s competitive side is looking to expand its roster by establishing a women’s team. Ideally, it is looking for players with a rating of 3.0 to 3.5.

Recently, the men’s team competed at the yearly Prairie Invitational University Tennis tournament in Calgary, Alta. Hillier went on to note the importance of growing the game in Manitoba. “I want to be able to provide students with an opportunity to have a student-athlete experience,” he said. “We lose a lot of those tennis athletes to other universities.”

“My goal is to keep the talent within the province, at the university level,” he said. Hillier specifically wants to provide youth an opportunity to develop their skills in Manitoba instead of switching provinces to play varsity tennis at another university.

Hillier’s love for tennis is at the heart of the club. He attributes his deep affection for the sport to the many wonderful experiences playing gave him.

“I want to try and share tennis with as many individuals as I can,” Hillier said, “so that they can reap the rewards and the benefits, the health and well-being that is associated with it.”

Students and alumni wanting to join should note that they are required to pay an annual fee in order to join the club. Mostly, the funds go toward maintaining the equipment, although it nets new players a T-shirt as well.

As Hillier looks to grow and expand the club and the game of tennis, university students, alumni and young athletes alike have the opportunity to develop their skills right here at home.

Whether it’s recreational or competitive, UMTC offers opportunities for everyone.

University of Manitoba students, alumni and those planning to attend the U of M who are interested in joining the club can reach out to Craig Hillier via email at umtennis@gmail.com to receive further information about how to get involved.