In August 2018, founder, Lezlie Murch, passed the leadership of Niagara Academy of Tennis (NAT) to Dr. Sivakumar Annamalai.
Prior to life at NAT, Dr. Sivakumar Annamalai created a diverse and prosperous life for himself and his family in Tiruchi, India and spent quite a number of years as an ENT Surgeon in the UK. Although Siva lived a very comfortable life in both locations, and also demonstrated his multifaceted approach to bettering not only himself, but also others, he still held a desire to advance his career in the multicultural land of Canada! In 2008, he found an exciting opportunity in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and soon after, his family settled as landed immigrants.
While being wholeheartedly dedicated to his healthcare profession, Siva simultaneously demonstrated his passion and commitment to aiding in the development of healthy and independent young adults.
Siva was inspired by his father, who opened the doors of the Cauvery College for Women in 1984. This institution originated with only 40 students and has since grown to become a multi-campus institution hosting over 5,300 students. Its focus is to not only develop the technical skills of its students, but to also nurture professional competency, self confidence, managerial abilities and entrepreneurial development.
In searching for an opportunity for the Sivakumar children, Ray and Rhea, to progress in tennis while gaining a valuable education on the same campus, they discovered NAT, in Vineland, Ontario. NAT provided the home-like environment they were looking for, as well as an atmosphere where student-athletes can develop into respectful, kind and strong independent thinkers.
Siva was able to further his interest in the development of a well-rounded education for student-athletes when Lezlie decided to retire. As the new president of NAT, Siva’s plan is to have a top-notch team of professionals who share his goal of growing Niagara Academy of Tennis. His vision also involves expanding NAT’s horizons by recruiting talented student athletes from additional countries. Most recently, students have come to NAT from India, Bolivia and France.
His long-term plan is to acquire an additional NAT site, and to offer state of the art facilities for both on-court training and in-classroom studies. These are only a couple of the many fresh ideas included in Siva’s overall vision, but as with all successful institutions, it takes patience, passion, persistence, and positive energy to make every vision a successful reality.
Niagara Academy of Tennis thanks Lezlie for providing the foundations of NAT and looks forward to the coming years of growth and success.