Canadian Paddlers Score Again with APTA Clinics

Viking-Paddle-Sports-Logo-2012-100

Toronto Clinic

Toronto Clinic

Toronto Clinic

Toronto Clinic

Thank you! Merci! Rahmat!

Suzanne Lanthier
September 26, 2012
Toronto, ON, Canada

When the incredible crew of Mark Parsons, Juan Arraya, Brian O’Connor and Mark Fischl left Toronto last September after a two-day clinic/exhibition schedule that culminated with some fish kissing and bologna-eating antics, it was really hard to imagine that we’d ever have such a fantastic paddle experience again.

But we did...big time. (No fish smooching to be found on this trip–but there was deli meat).

Brad Easterbrook, Max LePivert, Anton Mavrin and Fischl—great players, phenomenal teachers and really, really nice guys –touched down on the runway in Toronto at 2 PM on Friday, hit the courts at 4 PM and did not stop until 5 PM the following day. Eighty paddlers, seven hours of clinics, two hours of exhibitions, three hours of play with pros, one half hour of rain (thank you, paddle gods), and yes, even a few beers later, we chalked this APTA/PPTA Clinic up in the win column. There was even an unscheduled few-beers-in exhibition rematch at 6 PM (only witnessed by a select few) that was entertaining, to say the least.

Every clinic session was fully booked with waiting room only from Juniors to NHP (never held paddle) to TT (Tourney Tough). The quest to grow the game through sponsored events and clinics like this achieved its goal. We re-inspired our veteran players, built skills in beginners and intermediate players and introduced new keeners to the game. Think I’m kidding? One foursome of NHP’s finally got off the courts four hours after their clinic! Twenty-four hours later, they were members and were setting up intro sessions with their friends. Who knows if they were able to walk the next day, but they are official paddle members now!

On Sunday, the paddles were shelved and the crew toured the city of Toronto with highlights including:

  • Sunday morning Bloody Caesars
  • Watching LePivert turn three shades of yellowish-green while ascending the CN Tower.
  • An ever-so-slight train derailment on the car occupied by the tallest thing in Toronto besides the CN Tower (see photo).
  • The eventual discovery of the Saucisson!
  • Fischl trying every street-meat product in Kensington market with a stinky cheese chaser (well, to be clear, it was a highlight for Fischl, not for the rest of us).

The recipe for a great clinic is not difficult:

  • Start out with some great support from the APTA.
  • Add in a phenomenal bunch of volunteers and helpers (special thanks to Paul Stulac, Sara Lanthier, Dave Gallagher, Sonja Erskine, and Jane and Ian Watson).
  • Throw in a beer sponsor—McAuslan and Barry Pletch, you rock!
  • Don’t forget a dash of an engaged group of members who helped spread the word and promoted the clinics in and out of the paddle community.
  • Be lucky enough to have four of the best willing to travel to your city and be as fresh in the seventh hour as in the first.

For those clubs/communities who are considering requesting an APTA/PPTA clinic, I have two words for you—DO IT!

To Brad, Mark, Max and Anton—what can we say? Thank you again so much. And thanks to Viking for their sponsorship.

More pictures can be found on Kingsway Platform Tennis Club Facebook site – click here.

Toronto Clinic

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