Select Page

The Next Generation of Aces

The Next Generation of Aces


While Canadian tennis stars are making a mark on the World Tour, other nations’ top rising stars are traveling to Kelowna to showcase their play. It’s all thanks in part to the leadership of Joachim Nierfeld and a small committee behind Tennis Futures Kelowna.

“The facilities (Parkinson Recreation Centre) are amazing and everyone loves the look and feel of it,” says Joachim. “We started three years ago, and we’ve improved it each year, doubling the amount of players qualifying from the first year to the third.”

The new Kelowna tournament completes a six-city Western Canadian tour for international players flying in from Australia, Japan, Belgium, Germany, France and Israel.

“It’s very exciting here in Kelowna as we have the next wave of young guys working on their skills and trying to emulate what they see on TV,” says National Coach Martin Laurendeau. “At some point you have to start at the bottom of the staircase and work your way up and this is where you gain your experience. All the great champions have played these tournaments.”

A key element in the development of the sport, the entry-level Tennis Futures offer a cash prize of $15K and provide players points as they aim to reach the next level on the professional circuit.

“This is essential to the development of our athletes and the development of our coaches; by being at these tournaments here in Canada they’re exposed to the international level. They can see how the Australians are playing, how the Spaniards are playing, how the Asians are. They all have their game style and it’s important for everyone to be exposed to this so they can go back to their clubs and work accordingly,” says Martin.

Joachim-Niefeld-tennis-futures-kelownaAn equally strong cheerleader for junior player development, Joachim is also turning his attention to elementary students. The tennis coach played the pro circuit in his home country of Germany and when he arrived in Kelowna 15 years ago he found a healthy group of tennis people in the community but a junior program that had only four kids. “We now have a 100,” he boasts.

The Little Aces League was kick-started in 2014 at six elementary schools, using the new progressive tennis program: bigger balls, mini racquets and smaller courts. The program has grown to eight schools.

Our July-August issue features tennis champion Vasek Pospisil from Vernon, BC on our cover. Writer Yvonne Turgeon follows Vasek Pospisil's tennis career from the tender age of 6 years to…

Related Post

About The Author

Yvonne Turgeon

This communications consultant loves writing, wine and all things Okanagan (but hasn't given up her Rider green). When she's not doing PR for her clients, she's writing for Okanagan Life and managing the reins at

30,000 giveaway for small business okanagan

Current Issue

yearly-subscribeDigital Edition - Yearly Subscription

Each month, we're giving away 30 free annual subscriptions to celebrate our 30th year in publishing! With a digital subscription, you can enjoy Okanagan Life on your tablet.

Upcoming Events

9:00 am Apex Mountain Chamber Mixer @ Apex Mountain Resort
Apex Mountain Chamber Mixer @ Apex Mountain Resort
Feb 25 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Apex Mountain Chamber Mixer @ Apex Mountain Resort | Penticton | BC | Canada
Chamber Members gather your staff, family and friends to enjoy a fun day of outdoor activities at Apex Mountain Resort A Special Thank you to our Platnium Sponsor Apex Mountain Resort for their continued support[...]
7:30 pm Sister Act – The Musical @ Kelowna Actors Studio
Sister Act – The Musical @ Kelowna Actors Studio
Feb 25 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Sister Act - The Musical @ Kelowna Actors Studio | Kelowna | BC | Canada
February 7 – 25, 2018 Sister Act is the feel-good musical comedy smash based on the hit 1992 film. Sing Hallelujah for this new, ridiculously fun, feel-good musical that will have you jumping to your[...]
6:00 pm Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate
Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate
Feb 28 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate | West Kelowna | BC | Canada
Join us on Wednesday’s for our long table dinners, each time exploring a different theme or region in the world. Enjoy 3 family-style courses for $55 per person (plus tax & gratuity). January 10: France[...]
11:00 am Lake Country Children’s Festival... @ Creekside Theatre
Lake Country Children’s Festival... @ Creekside Theatre
Mar 3 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Lake Country Children's Festival presented by TD @ Creekside Theatre | Lake Country | BC | Canada
Lake Country Indoor Children’s Festival presented by TD returns for the third annual celebration. Over 30 interactive childrens activity booths, theatre performances, Global Children’s Village, and much much more. More information will be released early[...]


Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match