Moose Mountain Provincial Park has had tennis courts since around the late 1940s. They used to be located near the main beach, but by the 1970s they had been moved to their current location behind the mini-golf.
Dr. Clay Johnstone, an active member or the Kenosee Lake Tennis Association, explained that their location is great. “It’s a lovely setting with all of the trees surrounding it, which protects the courts from the wind. We’ve also put up a windscreen, so when it is gale force winds almost everywhere else it is good here.”
In the mid-1990s they resurfaced the courts with asphalt After weathering damage they deteriorated and instead of repairing the damage to the asphalt courts, they decided to look into other surfaces. They decided on tiles from Flexcourt Canada, which came with a fairly steep price tag.
Through donations from individuals and businesses, as well as grants from Spectra Credit Union and the Community Initiatives Fund they were able to achieve enough funding to go through with the repairs and upgrades.
The Parks Department of the government also assisted the Tennis Association in repairing the original surface. Before the tile could be laid, the base needed to be fixed. The club was grateful for the Parks Department’s assistance.
The club has also put up new nets and centre straps. With new light poles being put up by SaskPower, the Kenosee Lake Tennis Association is excited to have proper lights for nighttime play. The lights will be bought from a local contractor.
“It is a public use facility. It always has been and always will be. We encourage everyone to come and enjoy the courts, but to treat them with respect.” Johnstone said.
A board containing the names of those who donated to the courts will be unveiled in July. The ceremony will be done at dusk. It will celebrate those that assisted the Tennis Association in repairs and upgrades.
June 16 saw a small women’s tournament organized by Johnstone. Women from the Souris Valley Ladies Tennis Club from Oxbow were invited to come out for the day. Many of which had received lessons from Johnstone about 12 years ago. Their courts are asphalt and they were extremely happy to have been invited to play on the new tiled courts.
The president of the Oxbow club, Mary Ellen Benjamin, said “The first thing I look for when going to a resort area is, do they have a tennis court? This is great for the area and is much better to play on than asphalt.” She was very excited to receive the invitation to come play from Johnstone and stated that she would be back to play again.
To promote tennis in the area Johnstone will be offering lessons. There will be three groups ranging in ages from 10 to 15, 16 to 39, and adults 40 plus. He is accepting eight students per group to keep instruction manageable and drills with much involvement. With one lesson per week for four weeks at an hour and a half of instruction it is open to beginners or those who want a bit more coaching. It is $40 to join the lessons and one simply has to contact Johnstone to register.