The Rogers Cup is currently taking place in Toronto until July 31st, 2016, bringing the world’s best in men’s tennis to #the6ix. Somehow over the years, I was never able to make it to any matches I was invited to (mainly due to my inflexible work hours at the time) and this year I was very excited to attend for the first time ever, courtesy of the National Bank of Canada.
Tennis was never a sport that I grew up watching (or playing) when I was younger, but when I moved home from London, UK five years ago, I suddenly had a huge urge to learn how to play the sport. In my mind, it was a sport I should know how to play in order to take up anyone’s offer to take part in a match. It took a few years for me to finally act on my wish to learn, but last summer I found a teacher and took private lessons at the courts in Trinity Bellwoods park.
After 3 private lessons I am by no means a pro, but I still have great interest in one day becoming a decent player and I am still fascinated by the game. To have the opportunity to watch the world’s top players compete in such close proximity this week thanks to National Bank, was certainly an experience I’ll never forget.
The Aviva Centre at York University is a massive outdoor stadium where the Rogers Cup Toronto is held. Being my first visit to the site, I was totally in awe of how grand it is, and what a different experience it is to be in a stadium to watch tennis, versus a stadium to watch baseball, or an arena to watch hockey.
Aside from watching the tennis pros live in action, another fun part of the Rogers Cup is getting to walk around the vast outdoor patio and experience the activations set up throughout the space. As the Presenting Sponsor of the Rogers Cup, National Bank has quite the presence at the event including their very cool and interactive booth.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this post from last week that shared a little video of the fun screening area inside the booth. Yes, I’ll admit that I did get a little preview of the space and the booth before the actual start of the Rogers Cup!
Inside the main level of the National Bank booth at Rogers Cup Toronto you will find a small area of tiered seating that faces a blank white screen. When you put on pair of the glasses provided to you there by the team on site, all of a sudden you’re able to watch the tennis match on the screen! Pretty cool right? Personally, I was totally nerding out about the whole thing. To give you an idea, there’s a photo of me sitting and wearing the glasses on the stands above, and below is a picture taken from behind the glasses for you to see the large blank white screen, and the image that shows up on it through the glasses.
And there’s more! When visiting the booth, you’ll be able to take part in interactive games, instant prizes (including a trip to the US open!), complimentary mocktails, a live DJ every evening and more. The upstairs rooftop patio is definitely one of my favourite parts about the National Bank booth. It feels like a mini oasis and you get to enjoy refreshing beverages like the Perrier Lemonade that I loved so much I had four cups of it when I was there for Thursday’s matinee match. Considering how hot it’s been in Toronto as of late, their complimentary icy cold beverages were certainly a welcomed treat!
Last but most definitely not least, you need to know about National Bank’s On The Ball initiative and how you can get involved when you visit the Rogers Cup this weekend. This year marks the 10th year of their On The Ball program that recovers used tennis balls and transforms them into chair slippers to create noise-free learning environments and make it easier for children to concentrate in the classroom. The collected tennis balls are distributed to schools and school boards in Ontario and Quebec to be transformed into chair slippers to help reduce the distracting noise made from moving chairs, and increases student concentration.
To date, the program has collected over one million tennis balls (1,242,044) and right now you have the chance to help grow that number by bringing your used tennis balls to the Rogers Cup Toronto and donating them to the On The Ball box at the National Bank booth. You can see my fun boomerang on instagram here to see how it works in person. See? Easy!
If you are at Rogers Cup in Toronto this weekend I hope you have tons of fun and stay cool!