Tennis club set to open season

The club is holding an event April 21 that will feature matches and BBQ.

New coach Matt Martin clears off the surface at the Nelson Tennis Club's courts. The club is set to open the season with a social and BBQ on April 21.

Matt Martin and Dave Triffitt couldn’t wait for Mother Nature, so a few weeks ago they shovelled the foot-deep snow from one of the Nelson Tennis Club’s courts.

“We were rewarded with a good hit but lost a few balls in the surrounding snowbanks,” said club coach Martin.

Now the courts are clear and clean, and will hopefully be dry for the club’s season opener social and BBQ on April 21, from 4 to 9 p.m., adjacent to Granite Pointe Golf Club’s clubhouse.

“Everyone is welcome, whether an enthusiast or simply curious,” said club president Keith Bridger. “Folks need only bring their racket, a lawn chair and an appetite for the smokies on the barbie.”

The opener will feature some quality tennis for spectators at 7 p.m., as Martin, a former B.C. junior champion, takes on Mark Cannatelli, the Australian ace.

“Mark has taken it to me in the past,” said Martin, “but I’m expecting a boost from the home-town crowd.”

Martin and his wife, Marie, moved to Nelson from the Lower Mainland late last summer. “We are super excited to be living in the Kootenays and have enjoyed every minute so far.”

Martin was a successful junior in B.C., spending two years at number one. He was a double gold medalist at the Western Canada Games and a bronze medalist at the Canada Summer Games. Martin then spent four years on a full tennis scholarship at university in South Carolina. Later, he coached in the U.S., then moved to Australia to coach high performance juniors seeking university scholarships.

“We are very excited to have such a high-calibre coach affiliated with our club” said Bridger. “Matt is terrific with kids so we anticipate the junior development program to flourish. Matt will also conduct adult evening clinics, and both are benefits of club membership.”

Information on these programs can be found at nelsontennisclub.com. Martin is also offering a full range of clinics and private lessons to members and non-members alike and can be contacted at info@mmsports.ca or 604-338-7913.

The Nelson Tennis Club is anticipating an exciting season of social and competitive tennis. And, who knows, we may find the next Milos Raonic walking among us.

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