U SPORTS has announced tennis as the first pilot sport in its programme history ©U SPORTS

U SPORTS has announced tennis as the first pilot sport in its programme history.

In partnership with Tennis Canada, it becomes the first sport since curling in 2008 to be added to the U SPORTS programme.

U SPORTS hopes the collaboration started in fall in Canada will help improve standard of university tennis and bring more opportunities for student athletes.

"We are thrilled to announce our exciting partnership with Tennis Canada, marking the integration of tennis in U SPORTS’ new sport model program as a Pilot Sport," Lisette Johnson-Stapley, chief sport officer of U SPORTS, said.

"This collaboration signifies a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering athletic and academic excellence while expanding opportunities for student-athletes across the country.

"Together with Tennis Canada and our members, we look forward to serving as a catalyst in the development of top-tier talent in Canada and promoting the values of excellence and equity within our university communities."

U SPORTS has pilot sports, invitational sports, and conference sanctioned sports under the umbrella of partnership sports.

Sports that are in the conference sanctioned category can progress to core national championship sports category, along with hockey, basketball, and football.

The annual Canadian University Tennis Championships will continue to be staged by Tennis Canada, with help from U SPORTS.

"Joining U SPORTS as a pilot sport is a significant moment for Canadian tennis," Ryan Borczon, director, professional and national events at Tennis Canada, said.

"This collaboration holds tremendous potential for the sport, and we are thrilled to work alongside U SPORTS to further enhance the Canadian University Tennis Championships.

"Not only will this open new doors for student-athletes, but it will also fuel the growth of tennis participation at the university level."