First tennis tournament a hit with players

More than a dozen athletes signed up for the Meadow Lake Tennis club’s first-ever tournament. The event was a three-day contest that began Aug. 22 and involved players mostly from Meadow Lake. Here, Meadow Lake area resident Dave Herly takes a swing at the ball during a singles match.

More than a dozen athletes signed up for the Meadow Lake Tennis club’s first-ever tournament. The event was a three-day contest that began Aug. 22 and involved players mostly from Meadow Lake. Here, Meadow Lake area resident Dave Herly takes a swing at the ball during a singles match.

by Derek Cornet

With the completion of Meadow Lake Tennis’ (MLT) inaugural tournament, group president Gavin Van de Venter believes it has put the club on the map.

The three-day tournament began Aug. 22 at the tennis courts near Jonas Samson Junior High School. While most of those who competed were from Meadow Lake others came from Saskatoon and Lloydminster. Van de Venter said members participated in other tournaments to spread the word about their event, and hoped it would attract a crowd.

“We got our local guys, but we didn’t get the turnout from the province we hoped for,” he said. “But, the tournament itself will put us on the map and people will see there’s a club in Meadow Lake.”
In order to host its first tournament, MLT had a series of hurdles to overcome. The group had to register as an official club with Tennis Canada as well as a non-profit organization. Van de Venter said the tournament was a Tennis Saskatchewan-sanctioned contest, which meant players throughout the province could keep score with their official rankings.

Van de Venter also noted the event somewhat marked the end to the tennis season. The club held a tennis camp in May and June for kids and adults and there are leagues during the year. He said tennis season ultimately winds down at the end of September and the short season is a reason many Canadians are unfamiliar with the sport.
But, with the success of its first tournament, Van de Venter thinks others may become involved.

“We’re grateful for all the fans who came out and the people who played,” Van de Venter said. “When there’s a build up of members, hopefully local businesses will sponsor us because we have dreams.”

Meadow Lake resident Terry Craig joined MLT earlier this year and the tennis tournament was a first for him. He said tennis is a good sport because it’s one people of all ages can participate in.

“It’s something you can do until you’re old and grey,” Craig said. “It’s an awesome sport.”

Craig also noted how the group was attempting to promote the community through the tournament. He said it was a positive event and everyone he spoke to enjoyed themselves. Craig also recognized MLT’s executive and the hard work they’ve done promoting tennis in Meadow Lake.

“The people who organized the tournament are doing a fantastic job,” he said. “They’re really promoting tennis and got a lot of people involved because of the club.”

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