It’s hard to turn down VIP treatment, even when it has to do with a sports tournament. I may not know much about what’s going on in front of me, but, heck I’ll have fun and figure it out as I go along! This year I was invited by the National Bank to join them in their VIP suite and watch the women heat up the court at Toronto’s biggest tennis tournament, Rogers Cup. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend personally, and instead sent my most glamourous and sport-obsessed correspondent, Ashton Lawrence, in my place. Here she shares her experience:

It turns out that not only can Canada’s official tennis bank serve up an entertaining afternoon, but they can also dish out plenty of goodwill long after the last return. As a lucky guest of National Bank at this year’s Rogers Cup, I was treated to fantastic seats, generous hospitality and non-stop action- though I expected nothing less from the title sponsor of the ATP and WTA Masters Circuit stops in Canada (Montreal and Toronto host, alternating the women’s and mens tournament). Upon being greeted at the entrance to the Rogers Cup, our group stopped at National Bank’s interactive zones around Rexall Centre to learn more about their unique Canada-wide programs; their On the Ball initiative resonated with me not only because of its simplicity and sustainability, but because I was able to hear about its benefits directly from Faulhaber Communications’ discerning President (and mother of two) Christine Faulhaber since the program actually runs at her child’s school. NB recovers used tennis balls and distributes them to schools to be reused as chair slippers to reduce noise levels in the classroom, therefore making it easier for kids to concentrate- genius.

No detail was spared inside NB’s plush suite with furnishings provided by Andrew Richard Designs- even the walls were redone to reflect their signature style. While we caught most of the action in the suite, alternating between the ongoing action and delicious spread they provided, at the last minute we took advantage of a few fourth row seats, essentially putting us in the players box. Even though I can appreciate an exclusive vantage point at any event, this was a particular treat since eventual Rogers Cup winner Serena Williams was playing in the afternoon’s final match. Awe-inspiring to say the least, to be able to watch one of the world’s fiercest female athletes compete a few metres in front of you.

Big thank you to National Bank & Faulhaber for setting up an incredible experience, and for more information on NB’s On the Ball program, visit

(all images courtesy of Ashton Lawrence)