Tennis Group Members pay a nominal fee, enjoying games together and take responsibility for the maintenance of the courts. They also enjoy two organized socials each week during the playing season (balls provided), two seasonal tournaments, a phone list of members, a summer ending social and voting rights on all Tennis affairs. The opportunity to meet other Islanders and have fun and exercise while doing it, priceless.
For information contact Frankie Gowing @ 250-539-5817. Application for membership:
As the cooler, wetter days of winter descend on the island, the tennis facility will slip into its off season hibernation. Scheduled members’ play will come to a close in mid-October as the courts enter their winter schedule. Please check the facility bulletin board for winter access information. As stated in last month’s article, it’s been another busy season and the tennis association is keenly anticipating more of the same for 2022.
It’s important to take some time here and reflect back on how this valuable addition to the island came to be. As some of us long term residents remember, the old and somewhat undersized courts were located behind the former fire hall. Plans were underway at that time for a replacement to the hall and the courts were to be closed down. Luckily, there was a small group of hard working volunteers who took up the intimidating challenge of creating a new facility.
Fate was on the side of the community as the Felix Jack Road facility was seeking tenants for a corner of their property. Hallelujah! Of course, that was just the beginning. How could a community of fewer than a thousand residents raise close to $150,000 to construct a small, two court facility? The answer was simple – one step at a time. For a full year the small group of volunteers went to every local business, every volunteer group or society, as well as local residents to promote their cause. Letters of support and donations came from every corner of the community. A charter membership program was established, grants were written, some private individuals contributed significant monies and amazingly the total grew and grew. What had started out as a pipe dream gradually grew into reality. Enthusiastic support came from the local school district and the Parents Advisory Committee. Following the eventual opening the courts members volunteered their time in providing lessons to both school students and their parents.
Construction began with volunteer workers bringing chainsaws to start to clear the land. Barry Wilks, a big supporter of the project, offered to clear and level the site at an embarrassingly low cost. Contracts were established for paving, fencing and the eventual surfacing of the tennis courts. For a significant amount of time during the construction phase Mayne Island went without any accessible tennis facility. It helped to create a sense of urgency to the ongoing project. A membership program was set up to not only generate revenue for ongoing maintenance but to promote the island sport. A storage shed was built, maintenance equipment purchased, a porta-potty moved in, and a parking lot paved. A local master wood worker donated the gorgeous facility sign which displays messages from all of our charter members. Al Wood’s talent and generosity will always be remembered.
For the past 14 years the Mayne Island Tennis Association has managed and maintained the facility for residents and visitors alike. While this facility is a privately funded and operated site, the original mission to provide tennis access to all players has continued. Some association members regularly spend as much volunteer time in administering and maintaining the courts as they do in playing on them! It is definitely a labour of love they can all be proud of.
Our story is in no way unique in this community of hard working, dedicated volunteers. Look around at all of the many facilities we have and behind each stands an army of people who have given countless hours, and in many cases, significant funds in creating these valuable resources. The Tennis Association is blessed to be a part of the Community Centre organization and is excited to see the new daycare centre join in. We would like to thank all the groups and individuals who have supported and continue to support the sport of tennis on the island. Stay active and never hesitate to get involved in giving back to this special community.
Scheduled members play will continue into the fall season. The courts will be opened on a daily basis right into October with weather permitting. Continue to get out and enjoy this healthy activity before our wet and windy winter season begins. For any information regarding court usage or membership feel free to contact Adrian Gowing @ 250-539-5817.
Weekly Scheduled Members Times:
Women’s Doubles – Monday and Wednesday from 9 to 11 A.M.
Men’s Doubles – Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 11 A.M.
Mixed Doubles – Friday from 3 to 5 P.M. and Sunday from 9 to 11 A.M.
Tennis Tip: The world’s best players have spent years getting to where they are. Starting at an early age and with help from some of the best coaches. You may play well one week and then appallingly the next for no apparent reason. Don’t get down hearted by this – it’s normal! Just keep playing and your game will eventually sort itself out.
See you on the courts!