Montreal has been chosen by BTC Strategy to be the pilot project for major Canadian cities.
We would like to share with you the fruits of our labour after three years of experience. Let me share some of these results with you.
First of all...
The tight collaboration between the three tennis leaders, Tennis Montreal (regional association), Tennis Quebec and Tennis Canada allows us to have constant follow ups, exchange information and most of all solve problems quickly since we are all under one roof. All we have to do is knock at the door across the hall!
Everybody knows that news travels fast in smaller communities. Therefore, when a new program is offered some citizens rapidly take charge to develop it. Often, these people are members of different comities in their community and use their contacts to promote new programs and projects.
The same process is not valid in larger cities. In Montreal for example, institutions like the School Board, Québec en forme, the City of Montreal and the FADOQ, are not able to deal with individuals directly because of the high number of demands. They sign agreements with regional associations which allow the communities to profit from these conventions.
The city of Montreal is divided into 19 boroughs from which we have selected 7.
One person alone cannot organise, structure and program a project of this magnitude. Upon agreement of the communities, we have recruited 7 ‘champions’ who have accepted to promote and develop the BTC Strategy in their neighbourhood. Three others followed for the next three years : Rosemont, Ahuntsic and DDO.
Once the structure was in place, a new level had to be created. A ‘super champion’ to train, supervise and support the community champions in their respective roles and to act as intermediary between the champions and the partners.
One of the determining factors in the realisation of this program is a common base in the choice of activities for the 7 community projects: a school program in collaboration with Québec en Forme and the School Board, a program for beginning adults with Tennis Plus Banque Nationale, another one for the 50+ in collaboration with the FADOQ to reach clients in senior citizens residences and finally for kids in local parks during the Summer. Because Montreal is multiethnic and diversified, each community has its own identity. We have also added specific projects to some of the principal activities.
We believe the only way to achieve and succeed in realising this project is team work based on a solid foundation. This way, everyone can profit from the experience of the team.
For future projects, it is recommended to add only one community per year in order to consolidate the ones already in place and develop the new one successfully by carefully selecting the people who will join the team and who will participate, without pressure, in their community.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope that our experience will inspire other large cities in Canada to join this great team that is BTC Strategy.