On May 3, Claude Laperrière, a pillar of Québec’s tennis family, passed away. He leaves an indelible mark on our sport.
Many of us had the good fortune to know him in the three decades he dedicated to tennis. From tournament organizers to players and sponsors, we all had such great respect for Monsieur Claude, who once said that, at Tennis Canada, only Eugène Lapierre and Alain Beaupré didn’t call him sir!
Claude Laperrière played amateur tennis as a teenager and went on to found the Association de tennis de Repentigny in his thirties. A few years later, his entire family was invested in the Canadian Junior Open Championships in Repentigny, his adopted home.
Monsieur Claude Laperrière n'est plus!Le monde du tennis québécois est en deuil après l’annonce du décès, le 3 mai…
But he didn’t stop there. With his lifelong partner Pierrette, he started volunteering at tournaments, including Rogers Cup, at which he oversaw the information team after holding a number of positions over the years. Appreciated by all, Mr. Laperrière was a rock for the tournament’s committee leaders and a model for everyone. Inspiring, skilled, positive and driven by teamwork, he gave his all to Rogers Cup for 32 years. “He was a leader, a pillar and, more than anything, a great friend!” said Marilyn Robichaud, who coordinates the tournament volunteers.
An important contributor to the history of Rogers Cup, Mr. Laperrière was awarded several honours in recognition of his efforts and invaluable support.
In 2008, he and his wife were named volunteers of the year at the Tennis Canada Excellence Awards. In his acceptance speech, he affirmed that the shared award was his favourite tennis memory.
In 2011, he was presented with an appreciation award voted unanimously by the board of directors of Tennis Canada. Four years later, the district of Villeray honoured him as its volunteer of the year.
At Tennis Canada, Mr. Laperrière was known and admired. “He really was part of the family and culture of Québec tennis. Thousands of players, coaches, parents, volunteers and staff members remember him fondly,” said Eugène Lapierre, director of Rogers Cup.
In an interview with Tennis Québec, he had a few words of advice for anyone who wanted to follow in his footsteps: “Dedicate yourself. Forget everything else and do what needs to be done.”
Thank you for your wise words and commitment to tennis in Québec, Mr. Laperrière.
(Feature photo: Tennis Québec)