The Nelson Tennis Club’s new home was just a dream only 11 months ago. That dream became reality on Saturday.
The new multi-sport complex above L.V. Rogers opened to the public on the weekend. The four-court facility also features three pickleball courts, two basketball hoops and an area for street hockey.
Keith Bridger, the club’s president, said it was only after thousands of hours of work by volunteers that he realized the courts weren’t just a dream anymore.
“I came up here, everyone was out here having such a joyous time, then I thought, ‘Wow, this is real.’”
There was little tennis to be played Saturday — intermittent rain made the courts too slick for that — so the festivities focused instead on the completed work and the people who made it happen.
“It was a very rapid thing,” said Bridger, who credited School District 8, Columbia Basin Trust, volunteers such as Rob Wright and companies including Selkirk Paving. “Everything just fell into place perfectly. When we got that CBT grant it was a green light.”
Construction at the courts isn’t over yet. A clubhouse and lighting are included in future planning, but in the short term Bridger said the club will be focused on developing young talent in co-operation with LVR.
SD8 chair Lenora Trenaman said the revitalization of a site that previously housed dilapidated courts will be a boon to students and educators. She stressed how rare it is that a civic project like the courts comes together in such a short time with so many willing stakeholders.
“The strength behind these people, that’s what really did it,” said Trenaman. “The board couldn’t have done this on our own and it’s the most gratifying thing that I’ve seen happen from a community.”