Tennis continues to grow on the Westside

Christopher Cameron
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New Glasgow courts celebrating third straight Jamboree

NEW GLASGOW – After starting with only 14 participants in the Tennis Jamboree two years ago it has grown into the event it was in the past.

Akshay Shirke and his father Ajay, left, warm up for the adult doubles tennis event last night at the Westside Tennis Courts. This was the first year the Tennis Jamboree included an adult event.

Scott Graham, tennis instructor at the Westside Tennis Courts, brought the tournament back in 2012 after a few seasons without it in the community. In his third year of hosting the tournament it has turned into a three-day event. He expects approximately 32 kids from New Glasgow, Pictou and Truro to compete on Friday and Saturday. Last night there was an adult mixed doubles event, which was also new to the Tennis Jamboree event.

“It’s just bringing it back to what it used to be,” said Graham. “Ten years ago we’d have, actually Stellarton was involved with their program too, so we’d have their courts and our courts as part of the Jamboree. We’re starting to work our way back in terms of the numbers. It’s come a long way from the first year where we just had under-16 and then last year we added under-14. We’re adding another age group every year.”

This year they will have under-12 (Friday) and under-14 divisions (Saturday).

Looking at tennis membership numbers overall, Graham said in 2012 when they installed the new surface they had roughly 20 members and are now at approximately 60 this season. He said their low numbers in 2012 were partially because they started the season late.

Graham also believes they’ve had 90 to 100 different people on the courts this summer as not everyone has bought a full membership.

This year they offered adult lessons for a month at a time, which a lot of people took advantage of. It was the same for the kids. Instead of having to sign up for the summer it was broken into individual weeks.

“It’s come a long way for sure and we’re starting to move from having very beginner players – people just coming to learn how to play the game of tennis – to now actually not just showing up for lessons, but coming to their lessons and then we see them throughout the week just coming down to play,” said Graham. “They’re evolving as players and with my teaching I’m starting to realize the different ways you have to teach people because everyone learns differently obviously.

“You can come by the courts pretty much every night and see someone on them, which wasn’t always the case the last two years.”

The Tennis Jamboree may be one of the largest events of the season for the New Glasgow club, but the season isn’t over just yet. Graham said the tennis year runs May 1 to Oct. 31.

For more information on the Westside Tennis Courts visit www.newglasgow.ca/west-side-tennis.

 

christopher.cameron@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsChris

Organizations: Westside Tennis Courts

Geographic location: New Glasgow

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  • Townie
    August 22, 2014 - 07:26

    I was down myself to try out the sport a few times this summer. What a beautiful facility!! I may just join next summer! kudos to all involved in the whole westside renovation. what a difference!!