The labour of volunteers and support from the community isn’t just helpful to the Salmon Arm Tennis Club while it builds new indoor courts, it’s been crucial.
The tennis club is making some serious headway on its new indoor courts next to Little Mountain Park; the frame is done, the roof has been raised, the walls are nearly all in place and work continues at a steady pace on the large facility.
“This whole club is based on volunteerism; none of this could have happened without that,” says club member Ken Hecker. “I read an article about Salmon Arm’s new slogan, ‘small city, big ideas,’ and I think this is a great example of that.”
The facility has been about eight years in the making – if you factor in the planning, fundraising and all the work behind the scenes to convince the city to help with the project.
“The city has been a big help, along with SASCU, we can’t thank them enough,” says Winston Pain, a club director. “I think it’s worth mentioning that a lot of this was made possible by Doug Hlina as well. He knows everything about this kind of stuff and we wouldn’t be this far along without his help.”
Construction kicked off this year, and progress has been steady despite some hiccups related to the steel tariffs imposed on Canada which made it a bit of a hassle to get the materials they needed at a reasonable price.
Pain says they are hopeful the facility can open up to the public by April 2019 if all goes well. Much of the exterior shell of the building is complete, electrical and utility work will begin once the building is fully covered and then the paving and laying of the courts will be the final big job.
Pain and Hecker are both hopeful the indoor facility helps make Salmon Arm a regional hub for tennis players, as it will be one of the few dedicated indoor tennis courts in the B.C. Interior. They also mentioned the facility might help Salmon Arm to win bids for events like the B.C. Summer Games.