Aforza Spotlight

Jolene Fernandes

Academy Alumni

Let’s face it—we’re old. Aforza has been around for more than 45 years. Our legacy is rooted in our long history, but it’s also fueled by our young juniors and a tennis family that just keeps growing. We couldn’t be prouder than when we watch our young athletes succeed competitively and complete our Aforza Academy program.

Jolene Fernandes is one of those athletes. She’s been playing here since she was eight and is now a recent—and our youngest—graduate at just 16. Jolene will be heading off to Indiana this fall to attend Valparaiso University and continue her athletic and academic career. She hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and pursue nursing. Jolene says her mom is her “ultimate hero” and inspiration.

Jolene’s mom and dad both played a big part in her pursuit of tennis, and she is certain they have always been her “biggest source of support, love and encouragement.” It was their love of the sport that led her to tennis, and as Jolene describes it, some tactful parenting. “When I was younger, my sister and I would always get into fights, and my parents thought I could better channel my emotion by taking my anger out on a ball.” Clearly it worked. Jolene’s list of tennis accomplishments is impressive.

Jolene is a left-handed player with a wicked serve and forehand. She describes her playing style as “an aggressive baseliner with well-developed defensive skills, offensive abilities, and explosive and speedy footwork…not only am I a well-rounded player, but my positive leadership abilities and disciplined work ethic contribute to my tournament success.” Her coaches and Aforza family agree.

According to Coach Jeff Spiers, Jolene stands out at Aforza: “Jolene is one of the hardest and most disciplined players to train at Aforza. Her commitment to her tennis is extraordinary. She always gives 100% in every drill every day. She listens to every comment given to her by the coaches and tries her hardest to implement the suggestion. She is a fantastic leader who inspires those around her with her effort at practice and with the respect that she bestows on everyone. I know that she will succeed wherever she goes, and I look forward to hearing all about her success when she comes home in the summers.”

Jolene’s positive influence here at Aforza grew out of her development both on and off the court. She shared that her biggest challenge was simply embracing who she was and who she wanted to be. She believes that her strong values shaped her tennis career. Her message to other athletes is: “Never stop believing in yourself because other competitors are going to be the last to believe in you. Listen to your parents; they truly want to see you succeed. Don’t be afraid to be different. Learn to be the leader and others will follow. Embrace uniqueness and individuality!” Jolene’s growth and dedication to her values have helped her succeed in tennis and will continue to help her succeed well into the future.

Here are some fun facts you might not know about Jolene:

  • She’s an accomplished piano player.
  • She’s an honours student.
  • She’s visited eight different countries while competing in tennis tournaments.
  • Her favourite tennis player is Elina Svitolina; she admires her “tenacious and feisty spirit.”
  • Her favourite racquet is the Babolat Pure Drive.
  • Her favourite shoes are the Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro.

Aforza co-owner Karen Spiers sends Jolene warm wishes: “Jolene is an excellent role model. She freely offers her friendship to other players, and she leads by example. Her presence will be missed. I am especially happy to be celebrating Jolene and honouring her success as a female athlete—she is breaking down barriers for other girls in sport.”

We wish Jolene all the best. Read more about Jolene and stay up to date on all her accomplishments here.


We know that tennis is more than a sport; it’s an attitude and a pursuit—for our young athletes who grow up within our walls, it becomes a force that has a huge influence on who they are.

Your next great story could start here, so join us. Aforza is open to all. Great people make a great club, and we are only as good as our people. Learn more.