The short answer is to construct indoor covered tennis courts to allow expansion of the sport beyond a seasonal past time on dry days. We provide programming to over 250 members and have developed various partnerships to secure funds to build our current tennis facility. Eight years ago there were only two municipality owned tennis courts in bad need of repair with cracks, grass growing up through them, and a very small number of local players. A small group of us met in a local pub and decided that we did not want the courts removed and made a commitment to develop a local tennis club. One member even said that we should have lights which I thought was only a pipedream (fast forward we have lights now). We lobbied the local council and made a commitment that if they would fix the 2 courts that we would set up a junior tennis program for children and develop a volunteer board to manage the courts. We developed a number of partnerships which developed over the next 4 years our 2 neglected courts into a 3 court tennis complex complete with lights, clubhouse, and over 250 local members paying a fee for tennis. Partnerships with Tennis Canada, local schools, provincial and federal government programs, and the local business community allowed us to be successful. The local municipality invested $75000 in the first 4 years and we raised $250000 from our various partnerships. Our successes in our program exceeded our initial dream. We have a significant under capacity issue for the number of players we have, face wet weather play issues, and are only seasonal. The plan is to build two indoor tennis courts which will increase playing capacity, expand the season considerably, and provide a correct setting for rainy summer season programming. The planned structure will see one court being built first and then the second as the demand warrants. The cost of each court will be $250000 and we have to date in the past 3 years raised or have committed $140000 to the project.
Over 8 years a tennis program which grew from 12 participants , 80 the second, over 200 by year 4 and above 250 for the past 4 years. Programs for ages 3-70 and actively promote the sport to community groups with free sessions. Indoor gymnasiums were used to offer programming during the off season or on wet days. We participate in community events such as Canada Day with tennis booth with mini tennis.We continue to grow the quality of program every year by investing in higher level coaching.
The goal of our community programming is to involve as many individuals as possible and to ensure they are having fun.
Sport brings together individuals in a social setting which also provides physical activity. The tennis courts once they were upgraded are in the center of town and very visible. Non tennis residents comment on how attractive the facility look. The programs we offer and the appearance bring a sense of pride to even non tennis players. We have won national and provincial awards for our efforts. An indoor court will further enhance the legacy of a sport developed from the grassroots in Gander.
The goal of our community programming is to involve as many individuals as possible and to ensure they are having fun. We put a premium on having proper qualified coaches to teach even our youngest players at 4 years old. The equipment used includes age specific tennis balls to allow success at all player levels. Our name itself shows how we are part of the community and involve groups such as Boys and Girls, Club, local schools, CYN Youth program, and others with complimentary programs.
Jack retired teacher, professional tennis coach, with a passion for sports and teaching, tennis coach has embraced the Building Tennis communities program and visits our club 4 weeks every summer in addition to a spring visit to train coaches and players. He also act as an ongoing resource His mindset of players having fun will learn has made us work along with the administrative support locally by our executive headed by Pat. He has committed provincial tennis scholarships to our community.