Sports – As the temperatures slowly go up many Kingstonians are looking forward to summer sports – Chloe Wilson is one of these people. Wilson has been playing tennis for a number of years and while she loves playing in the summer months, she has always wanted to play the sport year round. Unfortunately Kingston has no indoor tennis courts, but that may not be the case for much longer.
“There was an indoor tennis court at the airport at one time, but it closed more than 10 years ago,” explained Wilson. “I was frustrated by the lack of indoor courts in the city so I decided to look for a space that could house an indoor court. I started the Kingston Indoor Tennis club.”
The idea may have originated out of Wilson’s own desires, but after speaking with members of the Kingston Tennis Club, where she serves as an executive, she realized that the community feels the same way.
“I’ve learned that there is actually a big demand for it,” said Wilson. “All of the feedback I received inspired me to start the club and right now I am really trying to gage interest before moving forward with a concrete plan and renovations.”
Wilson scouted the city for possible locations for the new indoor tennis club and found vacant space in the old Alcan warehouses at Sir John A MacDonald Boulevard and Princess Street. Some of the warehouses have already been renovated and now house facilities like a gym, a gymnastics club and a cheerleading club and Wilson thinks the space would be perfect for indoor tennis.
The next step is getting enough people to sign up and support the club before signing a lease and renovating for a potential fall 2015 opening. So far, Wilson has generated a lot of interest from the Kingston Tennis Club, but now she wants the rest of the community on board.
“I have set up a website and a formal membership drive to gage interest and hopefully by the end of April I will be able to move forward,” said Wilson. “I am about halfway there in terms of members and all I’m asking for is a 50 per cent deposit for the membership fee. If I don’t get enough support to open the facility that deposit will be refunded, but hopefully that won’t happen.”
Wilson will be taking on the full cost of the lease and renovations and while she works full-time as a chemical engineer. She sees this venture as a worthwhile community project and hopes that more people will take interest and give the club a chance.
“Tennis is a great physical activity and even social activity and it isn’t hard to organize. You can play with one other person or three and by joining a club you also meet people who have similar interests and it can be really social in that sense,” said Wilson. “It is also great for many age groups. I’m lucky that I get to play with my dad who is in his 70s. There aren’t many sports that allow that sort of dynamic.”
Wilson also sees the Kingston indoor Tennis Club as an opportunity to grow the tennis community and allow younger players who may be admiring the games of Canadian tennis stars Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic an opportunity to play themselves.
“With the lack of indoor tennis in past years people in Kingston have found other activities to do in the winter. This is a way to bring the sport back and allow it to reach more people and I think that is really important.”
For more information or to join the Kingston Indoor Tennis club visit http://kitennis.dyndns.org/