The Rossland Tennis Club is well over a century old and still serving the community.
The club is run by longtime volunteers who maintain and upgrade the facility and property, which is owned by the City of Rossland.
The three courts enjoy the best view in town overlooking the Columbia River Valley, and while they are still functional, there are numerous cracks spreading over the surface. The last time the courts were resurfaced was in 2008 and volunteers are saying a rebuild is long overdue.
“It was a resurface not a rebuild, which we need,” said tennis club director Laura Pettitt, who has been a member for more than 35 years.
“It gets worse every year. We’ve been in touch with them (the city). They’ve been aware of the issue since 2004. There is no point just resurfacing or the cracks will appear right away.”
Volunteers painstakingly fill the crack, keep the courts free of leaves and other debris, provide lessons, equipment, maintenance and care of the utility shed and washroom at the facility.
The city provides annual funds to help with the upkeep, and the club offers very reasonable memberships.
“We’re not a club of ‘memberships’, we are a court open to the public, so anybody can play,” said Pettitt.
Rosslander Caley Mulholland and her sons Aaron and Torin Bennett joined the club this year and have been taking lessons provided by another tennis volunteer Paul de Villiers.
“We play and we love coming to tennis,” said Mulholland. “It teaches good hand-eye coordination, and exercise after school and it’s really fun. And it’s easy to do because it’s right in town, you don’t have to go far. It’s a beautiful facility, so accessible and a great community asset.”
The facility also offers an area where single players can practice with a soundproof backdrop. Players can also use equipment geared to their level of play.
“It’s a great game,” said member Patricia Senecal. “We were just talking about the learning curve, it’s not something you just pick up and become an expert.”
Research has shown that approximately 75 per cent of players experience technical flaws that impede their progress.
Most of these flaws were able to be traced back to earlier training issues, like starting out with the wrong ball, or advancing to a new tennis ball too early, or not taking the time to learn the proper form before moving on.
“There is a different level of balls, so when you get good at one, you move on to the next, and the next, so you can hit balls back and forth right away,” said Pettitt.
Rossland Tennis Club offers lessons and the equipment to help beginners, intermediate and advanced players improve their skills.
Although, the outdoor season is coming to a close, the Rossland Tennis Society invites all to inquire about the club and check out the facility at the corner of Park Street and LeRoi Avenue.
Rossland’s first organized group was the War Eagle Tennis Club founded in 1901, and the current courts at 2630 LeRoi Ave. were constructed in 1907. “It’s quite a quiet sport that fits in well with the neighbourhood,” added Pettitt. “All the neighbours love it and the neighbourhood kids play a lot. The accessibility and affordability are really attractive.”
Residents can join the Rossland Tennis Society for $20 for individuals or $40 for a family, or simply drop in and play for $2. For more info or to sign up go online to rosslandtennis.ca.