Concordia will be joining the Quebec University Tennis League next winter and are holding tryouts for any Concordia student wishing to play.
There will be five other teams in the league next winter, including McGill, Montréal, Sherbrooke, UQÀM and a team from Quebec City. The first edition of the Quebec University Tennis League will begin in the winter of 2014 according to Ginta Cojocaru, one of the organizers behind the Concordia tennis team.
Tryouts for the women’s team will be taking place on Saturday, March 30 at Uniprix Stadium.
The men’s team has already been set. There will be tryouts for the men’s team as well.
The team is being organized by two friends and Concordia students, Andreea Trifu Constantinescu, a first-year international business student from Romania and Cojocaru, a second-year political science student.
“So far, the students who have contacted us for the tryouts are very excited about the idea of having a tennis team at Concordia,” said Cojocaru. “It’s encouraging. In case not enough students come to the recruitment, we are planning on having other tryouts towards the end of summer.”
Both women have a long history of being involved in tennis.
Trifu Constantinescu began playing tennis when she was three years old in Romania. When she moved to Canada at 14, she competed nationally and provincially until she turned 18. At 19, she won a scholarship to play for Oklahoma Christian University, the top-ranked National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics team and was a NAIA all-American for two consecutive years. After two and a half years in Oklahoma, she transferred to the John Molson School of Business at Concordia.
Cojocaru’s tennis career started at age seven. She began playing competitively at 10 years old, when she won the Quebec Championship in both singles and doubles. She won two more Quebec Championships before she had to quit because of a serious back condition.
Cojocaru’s passion for tennis hasn’t died however. She’s wanted to build a team at Concordia since she started in 2011 and got much encouragement from Trifu Constantinescu and François Giguère, the director of the new Quebec University Tennis League.
“I decided to start this project because I think tennis is a beautiful sport which people should be given the opportunity to play,” said Cojocaru. “It’s a shame that tennis is somewhat seen as a ‘secondary’ sport in Canada. Not only has tennis enabled me to travel, meet new people and keep in shape, but more importantly, it has developed my discipline, perseverance, dedication, fair-play attitude and competitive personality.”
Concordia will have a men’s team and a women’s team, consisting of six players each. The team will also include replacement players if the demand to join is high. Trifu Constantinescu will be a player on the team and will be coaching as well and the organizers will choose a coach among the players on the men’s team. The team will train at Uniprix Stadium.
According to Katie Sheahan, athletic department director, Concordia has had tennis teams before and has played in tournaments with other universities, but they were not part of the RSEQ and the CIS and therefore didn’t play as the Concordia Stingers. It will continue to be this way with this new team.
“[Past tennis teams were] self-organized and self-funded,” Sheahan said. “University students may, from time to time and/or year to year, organize themselves in order to compete in a sport they wish to pursue while studying. They may do this recreationally via intra-murals and our door is always open to discuss helping this to develop where feasible. Students may also, as in the case of this group looking to play competitive tennis, wish to compete with like-minded students from other universities and when this is true, students organize and fund themselves to play under the Concordia name.”
Cojocaru said it’s too early to predict whether there will be a high turnout for the tryouts or how successful the team will be.
Cojocaru and Trifu Constantinescu are hoping to have a team formulated soon so they can organize tournaments and exhibition games during the fall, before their season starts in winter 2014.
For more information about tryouts, students can contact visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ConcordiaTennisTeam
**An earlier version of this article reported that the men’s tennis team had already been set when in fact tryouts are being held on March 30 along with tryouts for the women’s team. This version of the article reflects the most recent changes. (Mar. 26, 2013)