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Tennis Canada – Former wheelchair tennis star and Parapan Am medallist will work to grow sport across Canada

Toronto, January 28, 2016 – Tennis Canada announced Thursday the appointment of former Paralympian and Parapan Am bronze medallist Joel Dembe to the role of Tennis Canada ambassador. The former wheelchair tennis star will be a public representative for the sport of tennis throughout Canada, sharing his own personal experiences and encouraging others to get involved in the growing sport.

“I’m really excited to promote our sport across the country as an ambassador,” Dembe said. “I have been very fortunate to have had tennis play a major role throughout my life – whether it was playing with my friends recreationally as a teenager or representing Canada at the Paralympics. I’m looking forward to sharing my story and showing Canadians that tennis is a sport that can and should be played by everyone!”

In his role, Dembe will be a spokesperson for the sport in Canada. He will make appearances and speak at various events, including conferences, tournaments, community groups, schools, and rehabilitation clinics. Through speaking about how tennis can improve lives, he will seek to help grow tennis at a grassroots level, especially in the area of public education and awareness. He will also become a regular contributor to the Tennis Canada website, with all Canadian tennis fans able to follow along with his latest tennis journey as an ambassador.

“We are so lucky to have Joel on our side, helping us to grow the sport and sharing his love for tennis with Canadians across the country,” said Kelly Murumets, president and CEO, Tennis Canada. “Not only is he accomplished in tennis, but he is such a smart, dedicated, and passionate individual. He truly wants to make an impact on the sport in Canada and will really make a difference. We welcome Joel to our Tennis Canada team.” 

Dembe announced his retirement from high performance wheelchair tennis last October, just two months after playing his final competitive match at the Parapan Am Games. The No. 1-ranked wheelchair tennis player in Canada for many years, Dembe is one of Canada’s most accomplished athletes in the sport. The 31-year-old won over 25 titles on the international circuit and claimed six national championships.

In addition to his new Tennis Canada ambassador position, Dembe is increasing his involvement in tennis through coaching. He will be completing his Club Pro 1 certification in March, and will seek to facilitate workshops and demonstrations with kids, adults, and other coaches.

Click here to read Dembe’s first blog post.

About Tennis Canada
Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association with a mission to lead the growth of tennis in Canada and a vision to become a world-leading tennis nation. We value teamwork, passion, integrity, innovation and excellence. Tennis Canada owns and operates the premier Rogers Cup presented by National Bank WTA and ATP World Tour events, 10 professional ITF-sanctioned events and financially supports 12 other professional tournaments in Canada. Tennis Canada operates national junior training centres/programs in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the International Wheelchair Tennis Association, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada, please visit our website at www.tenniscanada.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Media Contacts (Toronto):
Sarah Grossman, National Manager, Communications and Media Relations, Professional Tennis    
                sgrossman@tenniscanada.com, 416-650-7922
Nicole Watts, Manager, Communications
                nwatts@tenniscanada.com, 416-665-9777 x4092
 
Media Contacts (Montreal):
Valerie Tetreault, Regional Manager, Communications and Media Relations      
            vtetreault@tenniscanada.com, 514-273-1515 x259