Rallying Support – The tennis ball collection process

The On the Ball program (Défi sans bruit in French) has become a tennis season tradition! Partnering tennis clubs are gearing up for the initiative, which is now in its ninth year in Quebec and its fourth year in Ontario. We talked to some of our partners about their experience on the ground and their reasons for supporting this program.

“We love having the opportunity to give back to the community,” said Jeff Lander, owner of Tennis Central in Unionville, Ontario. “And our clients often ask what they should do with their old tennis balls.”

Mr. Lander’s club collected 55,000 tennis balls in one year, a record number; it’s more than were deposited in the collection bins during the Rogers Cup tournaments in Montreal and Toronto. “We’re very proud of our contribution!” said Mr. Lander.

We heard much the same at Tennis Centre West Ottawa. “The On the Ball program clearly meets a need in the community. It promotes sustainable development and encourages people throughout the Ottawa region to donate their tennis balls,” said Sarah Labonté, a representative of the club.

Tennis clubs play a vital role

Clubs offer places for tennis players to donate their old tennis balls once their rather short lifespan has been exceeded.

“Professional and semi-professional players may note a decrease in pressure after just three rallies,” explained Solange Grimard, Field Manager at Vibrant Marketing. “For amateurs, a ball can last about ten games.” Because she believes it’s important to recycle all these used tennis balls, she has worked tirelessly to transform this small grass-roots initiative into a nationally known program.

National Bank ties it all together

Tennis clubs are committed to encouraging their members to recycle used tennis balls. But they need a simple and effective system for collecting the donated balls.

That’s where National Bank comes in; we provide collection bins to 18 tennis clubs in Quebec and 17 in Ontario, and take charge of the logistics of distributing them to a total of 249 schools.

What is the On the Ball program?

Through its On the Ball program, the Bank works with communities to collect used tennis balls and redistribute them to primary schools, where they will be used as chair slippers to reduce noise levels in the classroom and create better learning conditions for children.

Active in Quebec and Ontario

To date, the On the Ball program has distributed approximately 1,060,000 tennis balls to 249 schools in Quebec and Ontario. Spectators at tournaments sponsored by the Bank can also deposit used tennis balls in the collection bins provided on-site.



More information on the On the Ball program

More information on tournaments sponsored by National Bank

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