Nelson Tennis Club courts funding for new facility
The Heritage City is getting a new expansion coming this spring.
New tennis court facilities are coming very soon, thanks to a partnership between the Nelson Tennis Club (NTC) and School District 8 Kootenay Lake.
The new site will include three pickleball courts, two basketball hoops and a ball hockey court in addition to four tennis courts, and it will all be open to the public.
Club President Keith Bridger says the project was motivated by the loss of the club’s lease at the Granite Pointe Golf Club in Rosemont, and the revitalization of a junior development program by BC Junior Tennis champ and coach Matt Martin.
Bridger said scoping for sites, the club found existing courts above L.V. Rogers High School in very dilapidated condition, but the potential for the location was obvious.
Not only is it more central, it’s easy for kids and families to access by the Rails to Trails path.
School District 8 Board thought it was a great idea too, and voted in November last year to dedicate $104,000 to the project which will include a viewing area, washrooms, storage and a club house in years to come.
Now the club is hoping the rest of the funding will come through in March so they can start cleaning up the site and have the new courts ready for mid-July. They’re off to a good start with support coming from the City of Nelson, Nelson Recreation Commission, and Tennis BC.
Coach Matt Martin will be hosting in-school intro tennis programs, and then taking the keen kids outside to play in the spring. From there, he’s got plans for a tennis academy for high-performing players. And the NTC is planning more fun social events for their membership, which has grown from 80 to 100 since Martin began coaching.
Racquet sports are great sports, said Bridger, who said they’re growing in popularity with families.
“Parents are looking for outdoor sports that are low in cost and low in impact. . . .There aren’t many concussions in tennis,” Bridger said.
And pickleball he said, for instance, has really picked up in popularity because you can play it from age six until you’re 86.