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Presidents Letter

Updated: Sep 28

September 2022


Dear North American Racquets Association Members,


I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer shared with family and friends. We are

excited to kick-off our 2022/2023 Racquets season and are pleased to share the

finalized tournament schedule which can be found on the new NARA website


I wanted to start by thanking Norb Madison for his time serving as The Detroit Racquet Club’s representative on the NARA board. Norb cares deeply about North American Racquets, and has enthusiastically supported me and previous Presidents on numerous important initiatives and projects. Norb will remain a resource to the board and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. Norb has handed the Detroit baton to Joseph Maiorana who has hit the ground running. Joe has been leading the efforts on our new NARA website and has already started to fill Norb’s big shoes. Thank you Norb and welcome Joe. 


With our ongoing efforts to improve communications, we are very pleased to announce that we are launching our new NARA website. We hope you will spend some time familiarizing yourself with the site and enjoying the content. I hope you will agree this is an improvement from our last version and it is our hope that we will see increased engagement via more regular updates on tournaments and other news.  


Our first event of the season, the annual gathering of our North American based racquets professionals occurred earlier in September at the T&R in Boston. This event, run by former world champion southpaws James Stout and Neil Smith is an opportunity for our professionals to spend two days together sharing knowledge and best practices. In addition to a lot of court time, the agenda included modules on marking, refereeing and safety. The goal is for our pros to return to their respective clubs with enhanced teaching skills for our membership to benefit from. We hope you will all take advantage of this, contact your home court professionals, dust off your bats and start to hone new skills.


We are very excited to be currently hosting the Knott-Stephens tour. The team will travel to all North American clubs to play games against the club members. We hope you will be able to come out and support both the games and the social events that have been arranged. To me, this tour perfectly epitomizes all the wonderful things about our game and cements deep, transatlantic friendships for decades. Let’s show them an unforgettable experience which I am confident they will do when we send our North American-based team back to the UK in two years time. Please get in touch with your pro-shop for details. 


Montreal will host NARA’s annual Under 35 weekend from October 28-30th. The goal of this weekend is to ensure all participants get plenty of matches and time on court in addition to building relationships with members from other clubs off the court. Halloween in Montreal adds an exciting dimension to this year’s event so pack your costume. For more details please contact Dan Fisher at mrcproshop@gmail.com


On November 17th, the Racquet Club of Chicago will host the first leg of the World Singles Championship. Ben Cawston has earned the right to challenge the current World Champion Tom Billings in what promises to be an epic encounter on the newly refurbished Championship Court. Both participants came through the fellowship program in Chicago and we look forward to providing more details about the event both live and via the NARA Youtube streaming link. 


Other notable events include the US Amateur in New York, November 10-13th which will be played at the same time as the Silver Racquet and the Jock Soutar in Philadelphia, the following weekend of November 18th-20th. For a full list of tournaments please visit the website.  


The NARA board remains extremely grateful to all of our members who continue to support the game of Racquets.


Your membership crucially helps NARA contribute to tournament prize money, the professionals training weekend, Advance The Play checks for every club, subsidized racquets balls, travel subsidies, U-35 tournament, Elite training weekends and more, in addition to our communications. We are continuously thinking of ways to grow the game and are very grateful for your ongoing support. As a reminder, NARA has two classes of membership: Patron and Benefactor. If you have not done so, please consider upgrading your membership to “Benefactor” for $250 per-annum which will enable the board to continue to support the aforementioned initiatives and introduce other ways to keep our game flourishing. Please notify your NARA club representative and your respective pro-shop if you would like to become a benefactor by 10/30/22. As a token of appreciation, we will be giving all existing and any incoming Benefactors a NARA branded surprise. 


The NARA board is pleased to share a full and exciting tournament calendar and we encourage all of you to travel to another club for at least one event this season. We have intentionally curated a variety of options for all ages and ability levels and traveling to other clubs cements this community that we all enjoy being a part of. In conclusion, none of this would be possible without the support of our membership- Thank you. We very much look forward to seeing everyone at a tournament soon and please reach out to myself or your club representatives with any questions


Play!


Jonathan Larken

President of NARA



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