By Jeff Wood, Sport Performance Specialist

When Bianca Adreescu won the U.S. Open, I had tears in my eyes.

It was such a long-time coming for our country—a Canadian tennis player finally winning a major championship.

I’m just so excited about what this could mean for the sport both in Manitoba and across Canada going forward.

Having worked in the sport for quite a few years now I can tell you that when Bianca won, we felt like we all won, because it’s so important to have a role model that young players can look up to.

Bianca actually played at a local tournament in Winnipeg the past couple years, and my kids were able to get her autograph. And now they saw her win on TV, and I know they are feeling more inspired than ever.

Not only that, but my voicemail and email inboxes are full of messages from parents who want to get their young children involved in the sport. This is really what it’s all about!

And many schools across Manitoba have been asking me how they can get the sport into their building. We’re hoping to establish tennis units so that kids are exposed to the sport for a set period of time through their physical education class.

I’m also proud of the fact that we’ve re-surfaced nearly 60 courts across the province for people to enjoy. The beautiful thing about tennis is that it’s a lifetime sport that is not likely to lead to any major injuries (at least at the recreational level). I see so many people out playing at community centres and I know I’ll see even more now, especially if this warm weather continues!

The next step for us is to try to develop top players within our province, rather than having them move to other provinces when they get older. This can only be accomplished by providing them with the resources that they need. We’re working towards that every day.

See you on the courts!