About 20 promising tennis players come to the North Shore Winter Club each week to practice and coach, but space and hours are limited.
“We rent courts between members here and we work on two courts most of the time so that’s a little difficult,” said Oded Jacob, head of Tennis Canada’s national junior coaching program.
Unlike its eastern counterparts in Toronto and Montreal, he said, British Columbia does not have a “local court” or base.
“This is a growing sport and deserves to be at the front of the line,” he said.
Children between the ages of 10 and 15, who are selected based on their promise to excel in the sport, must give up their lunch hours and school times to practice.
“I have to come late every time, that’s why I come here. I try to come here several times a week but I can’t come fully, which is sad and I have to adapt to it,” said 14-year-old student-athlete Gary Jiang. .
“Accessibility is very difficult because there are not a lot of courts, and there are a lot of good players who don’t have a lot of space to play,” added 11-year-old student-athlete Clara Ficol.
The BC Tennis Club is proposing to build a new facility in Burnaby and is encouraged to budget for it, the province said.
“We are aware of Tennis Canada’s proposal to build a new tennis and racquet sports facility, in partnership with Tennis BC and the City of Burnaby, that would serve as the home,” the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport said in a statement. “For the National Junior Coaching Program in British Columbia. The Minister has met with the Canadian Tennis Association to discuss this project.”
“The Canadian Tennis Association has been encouraged to build a feasibility study and develop a budget so that the province can assess the public investment feasibility of the project. They have also been encouraged to apply to various federal and provincial infrastructure programs and develop partnerships with the private sector. “We look forward to reviewing the project,” the statement continued. Feasibility study once completed.
“Our passion and love for sport has overcome many of these challenges, but as the world progresses, we also need to progress because to be on the front line of development, we will need every means possible,” Jacob said. .
As the sport’s popularity booms, pressure continues to create a Western home court.