Vancouver, BC – The Leith Wheeler Stanley Park Open (LWSPO) boasts over 85 events, which include players from a broad spectrum of levels and age categories. From first time-competitors to local tennis legends, juniors to adults, and international players – there is an event for everyone.
For 88 years, the LWSPO has been an annual celebration of tennis. The event prides itself on the fun, family and community atmosphere created throughout the 17 days. The magic of the Park not only brings people together, it brings families together. When you look through the various draws, it’s very common to see the same last names. Parents, siblings, brothers, sisters, children – everyone can compete at the Park. One such family is the Salvos, who have seen more than one generation compete at the LWSPO since 1990 – and has even had a member go to work for the Title Sponsor.
Originally from the Philippines, the Salvos moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in in the late 1970s. It was then that their father, Manuel Salvo, began to play tennis at a local community centre. Born in Winnipeg, Jamie and Jeremy would always hang around the courts, oftentimes distracting their father’s play. A friend of the Salvos suggested that perhaps the kids should play too as it would tire them out and then perhaps they would let the adults play. Following the family friend’s advice, the Salvo children began to play tennis.
In 1991, the Salvos moved to British Columbia. Both Jamie and Jeremy continued to play tennis on the west coast. Being only three years apart, they were also practice partners. As the older sister, Jamie usually had the upper hand when it came to playing points against each other. While Jamie would go on to compete for the UBC Women’s Tennis Team, Jeremy was consistently ranked among the top juniors in BC. He competed regularly at the Canadian National Championships and was ranked as high as No. 5 in Canada in the Boys U14 Singles category. Following his junior career, Jeremy went on to compete on scholarship for the University of Texas-Pan American. While completing his degree in Finance, Jeremy played as high as No. 1 in singles and doubles in the NCAA Division 1.
Jeremy’s high level of competitive tennis continues to this day. He is a well-known LWSPO competitor and Seniors Tour player. On the ITF Seniors Tour, Jeremy has been ranked as high as No. 246 in the world in Men’s 35 Singles (2017) and he is currently ranked No. 49 in the world in Men’s 35 Doubles. Jeremy is also currently ranked No. 1 in Men’s 35+ Doubles in Canada. When he’s not competing, Jeremy is the Director of High Performance Tennis at the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club.
Jamie and Jeremy’s parents, Marianita and Manuel Salvo regularly attend the LWSPO as well. Their mother as a spectator, and their father as a competitor. Manuel regularly competed at the Park up until a couple of years ago and both siblings have enjoyed the opportunity to compete alongside their father over the years. Jamie competed with her father in the Mixed 3.5 category, and two summers ago Jeremy and his father competed in the Parent/Child category and won their category. That year was the reintroduction year for this category, and we are excited to bring this event back for the third consecutive year.
Looking back at his time many years at the Park, Jeremy says, “It’s changed since I was in juniors. There are many more players that compete in the event now, and over the past 10 years the organization of the tournament has improved. I think that ever since Leith Wheeler has taken it on, it has become a much more recognized event. It’s the highlight of the summer.” The most memorable year at LWSPO to date for Jeremy was the year he entered all three Open categories: Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. He reached all three Finals that year and was a Runner-Up in each of them. It’s safe to say, he played the most matches out of anyone in the Open category that year!
This year, Jeremy plans to come back to the Park yet again for Men’s Open Doubles and is considering playing in the Open Singles or Mixed category as well. As for Jamie, she will be on the sidelines supporting her brother, as she recently welcomed a baby boy to the world. Jamie is looking forward to introducing the newest member of the Salvo Family to his very first LWSPO and she has hopes that there will be yet another Salvo competing at the Park soon.
“I think it’s a great place for people to enjoy tennis. As a competitor or not, this event is very welcoming to everyone. Whether it’s a beginner level or my brother’s level and beyond, it’s a place to hang out, and take in some tennis and the Park.” – Jamie Salvo
The 88th Edition of the Leith Wheeler Stanley Park Open is taking place July 5-21, 2019 at the Stanley Park Tennis Courts. Players and spectators are welcome to join this local community tradition. Learn more at about the LWSPO.