Brand New Courts to Host Wheelchair Tennis at TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games

Facility at University of Toronto Scarborough to benefit students and community

TORONTO, Sept. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - The best wheelchair tennis players in the Americas will serve up a storm at the brand new University of Toronto Scarborough Tennis Centre as they go for gold at the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games.

Next August, 36 tennis aces will compete not only for a Parapan podium finish but also for the chance to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. In fact, some of those players are in Mississauga this week taking part in the 2014 International Tennis Federation's (ITF) 2 Series Birmingham Canadian Wheelchair Tennis Classic.

The eight brand new acrylic courts at the University of Toronto Scarborough Tennis Centre (UTSC) are jointly funded by the Government of Canada and the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. Construction started on the courts this month, with substantial completion expected toward the end of 2014.

The campus is also the home of the largest new athletic facility constructed for the Games — the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House.

"Spectators at the University of Toronto Scarborough Tennis Centre will be in for some phenomenal volleys, aces and drop shots on these new courts next summer. With qualification spots for Rio on the line, you can expect players to bring their A-game," said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).

Wheelchair tennis, which follows the same rules as tennis except that players are allowed two bounces before a return, has been part of the Parapan Am Games since the Rio 2007 Games. It was added to the Paralympic schedule in 1992 in Barcelona. Tickets for Parapan tennis at the TORONTO 2015 Games will go on sale in the spring of 2015.

"The University of Toronto Scarborough Tennis Centre is another example of the investment the Government of Canada is making in these Games to help our athletes compete against the world's best," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "This accessible facility will cater to the needs of the community and serve as a lasting legacy of these Games for Canadian athletes for many years to come."

Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, added: "Hosting the 2015 Games in Ontario has provided a unique opportunity to create necessary accessible sport and recreation facilities. The U of T Scarborough Tennis Centre will be a showcase for competition in 2015 and will be an important venue for people of all abilities in the local community to enjoy for generations to come."

"As the proud Host City of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, Toronto is pleased to see this wonderful new facility be a part of the Games" said Mayor Rob Ford, City of Toronto. "The University of Toronto Scarborough Tennis Centre is just one of the many new and upgraded venues within the city that will be used for the Games and will remain a lasting legacy for our communities and Canadian athletes."

"It is a true point of pride to be the home of this brand new tennis facility, a complement to the existing world-class facilities on our campus, and another legacy of the 2015 Games," said Bruce Kidd, interim vice-president and principal at UTSC. "Tennis and wheelchair tennis are strong sports at UTSC. We are proud to deliver programming that is truly inclusive."

About TO2015
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with managing and delivering the Games. It is working to bring some of the world's best athletes and artists to the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, giving Ontarians a unique chance to be part of the action, and making the region a hub for sport.

The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors.

The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15.

For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.

SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

For further information: Teddy Katz, Director, media relations and chief spokesperson, TO2015, 416.957.2117, teddy.katz@toronto2015.org