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Tennis Anyone? — NTC hosts Grand Opening for new facility

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
September 19th, 2018

Anyone who has ever taken a stroll above L.V. Rogers High School during the past few years will have seen tennis courts that have seen better days.

Well, the Nelson Tennis Club has news for you.

In conjunction with Kootenay Lake School District 8 and a lot of hard work by members, the Nelson Tennis Club is inviting the public to the Grand Opening Saturday (September 22) of the brand-new court facilities at the site of the former high school courts.

During the past year, the NTC has transformed the dilapidated courts into a first-class facility that not only will satisfy tennis enthusiasts, but also pickle ball players and basketball players with new playing courts.

“It is amazing to realize that just 10 months ago, revitalization of the degraded site was just an idea in one person’s mind – Rob Wright,” says Nelson Tennis Club President Keith Bridger. “His vision was quickly embraced within the Club and, in one month we had a design, work plan and budget to present to the School District.”

The initial proposal included not only renovation of the four tennis courts, but also the addition of three new pickleball courts, basketball hoops, skateboard area, street hockey, and a kids’ play area. 

Nelson Tennis Club said in December the SD8 Board voted to partner with NTC and, in February $126,000 in funding was received from the Columbia Basin Trust Recreation Infrastructure Program.

“The dollars spent on the project total $280,000, but when in-kind contributions are factored in, the value of the project exceeds $350,000,” says Bridger. “Our suppliers and contractors recognized the benefits of the project, not only for our youth, but also for families, seniors, and the community at large. Their skilled work and generous contributions are very much appreciated.”

Bridger said volunteer work parties from the Nelson Tennis Club were also critical to complete the project on time and on budget, with more than 1,900 hours of volunteer time logged on the site day during the spring and summer, not including all the behind-the-scene hours of planning.

Bridger said the School District will have priority use of the courts during school hours for physical education classes.

However, in the grand scheme of things the Nelson Tennis Club gets a new home at the site and close ties to the school system which enables Matt Martin, the Club’s professional instructor, to expand the Junior Development Program and, eventually, establish a Tennis Academy for high-performance youngsters.

“We are delighted with the partnership with Nelson Tennis Club and the results,” says Kootenay Lake SD8 Board Chair, Lenora Trenaman. “We look forward to engaging our students on the courts.”

In future, the Club will be responsible for court maintenance and resurfacing costs. “As a non-profit, our mandate will be to secure the site to perpetuate a first-class facility and prevent a recurrence of the damage and deterioration of the past, while keeping the courts accessible and affordable for all,” added Bridger.

For more information on drop-in and membership fees, visit nelsontennisclub.com.  

But Saturday is a chance for the Nelson Tennis Club to kick open the doors for the new facility and the public to enjoy coffee and cake; win a door prize; or bring the gear for a chance to test out the new courts.

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