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'It's the journey of my life that brought me here' — tennis coach finds home in Kamloops

Tischler and fiancee, Julia, are aiming to start a family and adopt a child
Charles Tischler
Kamloops Tennis Centre head coach Charles Tischler (left) and junior player Thomas Friesen broke briefly from practise last week to pose for a photo.

Charles Tischler is head coach of the Kamloops Tennis Centre.

“It’s the journey of my life that brought me here,” said Tischler, a 32-year-old Montreal product whose tenure at the KTC began on Aug. 1.

Tischler realized early in his professional career, at about age 18, a lack of size might keep him from excelling on tour, so he decided to move into coaching.

Stints in the Dominican Republic, Mallorca and Montreal preceded a move to Vancouver, where he caught on with prestigious Jericho Tennis Club, a job that took him to Kamloops in 2019 for an International Tennis Federation junior event.

“I got accustomed to the community here and absolutely fell in love,” said Tischler, noting he clicked with KTC tennis director Kelly Hubbard.

Tischler and fiancee, Julia, are aiming to start a family and adopt a child.

“Maybe a teenager or someone on the spectrum that really needs it,” Tischler said. “I had to look for a location/position that could allow me to reach these goals.

“I’m in love with Kamloops. The people are great. I felt like it was the perfect opportunity. So when I say it’s a real life journey that brought me here, I’m not kidding.”

Hubbard was looking for a versatile coach, preferably an ex-player, who can work with high-performance athletes, recreational players and everyone in between.

“Students looking for Div 1 scholarships or to go on the pro tour, recreational adults, introduction classes, diverse needs, ADHD, deaf, on the spectrum — I try to bring top-notch coaching to all categories,” Tischler said.

Recent KTC graduates Paige Grice and Justin Friesen cashed in on valuable tennis scholarships down south — Grice with NCAA Division 1 Western Illinois University and Friesen with Holy Cross College at Notre Dame, a private school in Indiana.

Thomas Friesen, Justin’s younger brother, hopes to be next and has good early reviews for Tischler.

“He’s a younger coach,” said Thomas, a 16-year-old South Kamloops secondary student. “He’s got a ton of energy. He has so much enthusiasm toward the game. He lifts everybody up.”

Tischler said his dad, who followed him to Vancouver from Montreal, is moving at the end of the month to the Tournament Capital. The head coach’s mother also plans on moving to Kamloops from Mississauga, Ont., Tischler said.

“I’m ready to start a life here,” Tischler said. “And maybe we’ll have a new Leylah Fernandez or Félix Auger-Aliassime from Kamloops?”