THREE RIVERS, P.E.I. — Max Newby believes tennis deserves “a bit more respect”.
More specifically, he was referring to the Cardigan area. He’s disappointed with the condition of the community’s outdoor tennis court and wants to see something done about it.
“It’s just not a tennis court anymore,” he said. “It’s nowhere near what it should be.”
The Three Rivers resident and former tennis coach addressed the municipality’s councillors about Cardigan’s court during a committee of council meeting at Kings Playhouse in Georgetown on Aug. 24. The court is located in the park behind the Cardigan Farmers Market building.
Pat Uptegrove, another resident at the meeting, said she had no idea Cardigan even had a tennis court until someone informed her. She became excited because it meant she wouldn’t have to drive as far to enjoy the sport, but she had trouble finding it at first.
When she eventually found it, she, too, was disappointed at the “disaster” she discovered.
“It’s just a slab of broken pavement,” she said. “Nobody can play tennis there.”
Much of the court’s surface on either side is cracked, with grass growing up through the pavement in some areas. Uptegrove believes this is below a standard of quality that a municipality like Three Rivers should hold. It could also be a safety hazard as the rough surface is hard on the feet and people could trip on the cracks, she said.
“It’s an insurance liability.”
It’s also not clear who’s in charge of setting up and taking down the tennis net. While not many people are making regular use of the court to play tennis, both Newby and Uptegrove believe more people would if it was resurfaced and better maintained.
Newby compared it to Cardigan’s ballfield, which recently had several field lights installed for about half a million dollars. He believes tennis deserves to be fostered as well because it’d be good for the community and it aligns with COVID-19 social distancing protocol. He would also be interested in coaching people again if there was a suitable court to play on.
“(Because) there’s not very many tennis courts around here,” he said.
Three Rivers’ mayor Edward MacAulay said the municipality was planning to have Cardigan’s outdoor tennis court resurfaced this summer. A contractor has already been selected and is ready to do the job at any time, he said.
“So it should be done pretty soon.”
There’s an outdoor tennis court nearby in Brudenell which is often used. Coun. Alan Munro also pointed out that there’s a good court on the outskirts of Dundas.
Daniel Brown is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government.