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Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame Welcomes Betty and Bruce Birmingham

 

Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame Welcomes Betty and Bruce Birmingham

The Birmingham family’s contribution over the last few decades to Canadian wheelchair tennis has been instrumental in developing the foundation on which the success of the sport has been built. Through the Tennis Matters campaign, the family has donated over $2 Million to provide Canada’s wheelchair tennis athletes with enhanced funding and competitive opportunities. Their involvement has developed over time as they supported Canadian wheelchair tennis players at events, providing so much care and assistance to these athletes. Their commitment began in 2003 when they agreed to assist with the hosting costs for the Canadian Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Stoney Creek, Ontario and provide travel grants to allow Canadian players to participate in the event.
 
Since then, their generosity has expanded to new heights. In 2006, they offered funding for the Canadian National Wheelchair Tennis Championships, which were renamed the Birmingham Nationals in their honour, as was the Birmingham Canadian Classic, a Grade 2 ITF tournament. In 2008, they decided to focus their efforts towards Canada’s Paralympic success by creating the Birmingham Excellence Fund to assist with coaching and training support for prospective Canadian Paralympic tennis athletes. Since establishing this fund, Canada won its first Parapan Am medal in 2015 in Toronto in the men’s doubles category (bronze) and its first gold medal last year when Rob Shaw was crowned singles champion in the quad category.

"It is a great honour to receive this recognition and it is even more special to be able to enter the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame alongside my husband. I know how proud and grateful he would have been,” stated Mrs. Birmingham. “Bruce and I got involved with wheelchair tennis more than 15 years ago and have been honoured to support a group of wonderful and hardworking athletes with true spirit. I feel very blessed to have been able to get to know them and watch them develop.”

Recognized by the players as the “family of Canadian wheelchair tennis”, Betty and Bruce Birmingham become the first wheelchair tennis inductees into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame.

Story courtesy of Tennis Canada.

The Ontario Tennis Association would like to congratulate the Birmingham family for their induction into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame. As well as the above contributions, we would also like to recognize their contributions to tennis in Ontario. Led by Betty, the family has been a generous contributor to the Ontario Junior Provincial Championships for many years and have also donated the annual Bruce Birmingham Fair Play Award, given to the boy and girl who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship and fair play at the Championships. Betty has also been an active Official at the event. Above photo, Betty Birmingham left, with 2016 Junior Provincials’ Bruce Birmingham Fair Play Award recipients. Photo courtesy of Barry Kohl.

 

 
 
 
 
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