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The ball’s in your court, Cranbrook
Cranbrook, the ball is in your court, so to speak.
A group of local tennis enthusiasts are working to revive a Cranbrook club devoted to the learning, playing and enjoyment of tennis.
Neil Murphy and Jane Facey say the time is especially right with the completion of the new courts down by Mt. Baker Secondary School on 2nd Street North. Cranbrook is now home to three nice tennis facilities, and Facey and Murphy want to see the sport grow in town.
"This year all we want is to find people who want to come out, play tennis and have fun," Facey said.
"There will be no club fees this year — all you need is enthusiasm. The main focus is fun. The main focus is meeting people.
"We want families to come out, students, seniors, people who've played in the past and want to get back into it."
Facey said that for inexperienced or beginner players, the more experienced members of the club are there to give them a hand, to help them with the basics, and help get them playing right away.
“Two people from South Korea came out, and they didn’t know anything about (how to play tennis),” Facey said. “I spent half an hour with them, and they got so they could play themselves a game.”
Neil Murphy has been playing tennis for 60 years.
“We can show them how to hit, how to return a volley, and once they get the hang of it they stick around,” he said. “It’s especially good for seniors — good for health.”
The rules and scoring can be a bit challenging and complex at first, Murphy said. But despite tennis’s reputation as a difficult game to learn, it’s actually quite easy to get playing right off the bat.
“Just rallying back and forth would be easy to get the hang of,” he said. “Playing in foursomes also makes it easier.”
The new tennis club will be down at the Cranbrook Curling Club on Wednesday, Sept. 4, for Fall Community Registration evening, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Some 30 to 40 clubs and community groups will have tables and booths set up to show what they have to offer the people of Cranbrook and to take registration. The tennis club will be among them, so anyone interested can get more information there.
The following Saturday, September 7, the club will be hosting an open house down at the new Mt. Baker courts, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Water, snacks, some racquets, and balls will be provided.
“Once we get more members, we can give clinics,” Facey said. A members playing schedule will also be set up, matching players with others of their playing level — beginner with beginner, intermediate with intermediate, and so on.
Murphy is also looking ahead to when an Cranbrook players can meet up against tennis players from other towns.
“Creston, Kimberley and Fernie have active clubs,” Murphy said. “We could take part in regional tournaments.”
For more information, check out the new Cranbrook tennis club at Community Registration Evening, Wednesday, Sept. 4 at the Cranbrook Curling Club, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Or call Jane Facey, Director of New Membership, 250-426-7540.