Fernie tennis players in for an ace season

Tennis coaching team to introduce special needs program

People of all abilities could soon be picking up a racquet as Fernie Tennis Coaching looks to become more inclusive.

A special needs program is among a raft of new initiatives the coaching team hopes to introduce this year.

Volunteers have spent hours snow blowing the courts in Fernie in preparation for the outdoor tennis season, which kicked off on April 30.

“A big thank you to Claude Perreault from The Bridge Bistro and Mike Johnson from Fernie Old School Boxing for helping my hubby from Blackstone Bed and Breakfast snow blow the tennis courts,” said Tennis Canada Pro 1 Coach, Charlotte Willis.

“Fifteen hours of hard work with four foot of wet snow to clear, but now we can get the kids active in a few weeks.”

Willis urged players to sign up soon with spring programs nearly at capacity and summer camps filling fast.

“So far spring registration is the busiest yet,” she said.

“We are at record numbers of junior members, with 150 kids signed up last year.

“By the end of this year if you include the schools we will have taught over 1500 kids.”

As well as a special needs program, the coaching team hopes to develop another secondary school team to compete against The Fernie Academy.

It has also made changes to the adult program, adding beginner and advanced sessions as well as an evening group.

“The adults program generally runs on a drop in format,” said Willis.

“You can also purchase non expiring punch cards.”

A grant scheme will allow junior players to be trained to instructor level through the club’s performance program.

“We are now building a great team of assistant coaches,” said Willis.

Adult sessions will be held on Monday from 10.30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Tuesday from 6-7.30 p.m., with more advanced players meeting on Friday from 10.30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Junior courses start on April 30 and cost $125 for nine weeks, including membership and equipment.

Anyone interested in special needs sessions can contact Charlotte via charlottecwillis@me.com or 250 946 6007.

For more information, visit Tennisfernie.com.

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