tennis anyone?

Is the Bells Corners tennis club public or private?

I LOVE tennis and the Lynwood Park Tennis Club. It’s a hidden gem, one of the best parts about living in the Corners. The LPTC Open House is being held Sat. Apr. 28 at the community building in Lynwood Park, 1-5 p.m. It’s your chance to sign up at early-bird prices and get a key to the courts.

I often think that it’s a shame that more people don’t give tennis a try. It’s a “sport-for-life” that is both healthy, enjoyable and affordable. Players of ALL skill levels and athletic abilities can get a workout while having a ton of fun. The club is family-friendly and inclusive, with a rich potential for social interaction and community-building.

Our community tennis club is a place for everyone, from seniors right through to preschoolers. The sport teaches good values. It’s rare that anyone is injured playing tennis. Tennis rocks!

In Bells Corners we’re lucky to have a wonderful club in Lynwood Park, a City/community partnership that has a long and proud history.

Tennis is fun, friendly and CHEAP (especially if you nab the early-bird discount, which expires in two days). If you happen to know someone who’s already a member you can get a further 20% discount.

Kudos to Steve, Peter, Brian, Bev and all the other volunteers, both present and past, too numerous to mention, for making the LPTC such an important Bells Corners community asset.

There are some changes this year. For example, the club has partnered with a private company, Ottawa Total Tennis, to organize activities for members. In return for offering a FREE stroke-of-the-week workshop (and perhaps other benefits), OTT gets to market and sell its services to members, while gaining free and exclusive access to the public courts. Most of the activities listed below carry a hefty price tag.

The partnership is good news for some of our younger members, a group that has been neglected in the past. We NEED more activities at the club, both for juniors and for casual adult players.

The Lynwood Park public courts are, in my opinion, extremely underutilized compared to most clubs in the city. A more positive way to put it: there is lots of room for the LPTC to rise to the challenge and fulfill its primary mandate:

Low membership numbers are not necessarily a problem for existing members, who rarely have to wait for a court. No wonder so many LPTC members drive from neighbouring communities to play at our club – it’s a sweet deal!

To return to the question – is the Lynwood Park Tennis Club public or private?

Is it a private snooty country club where you have to be vetted by existing members and fork over huge dollars to join?

Or is it a public facility completely paid for by the taxpayer and open to all free of charge, just like a library?

All of the facilities belong to the taxpayer but are managed by a board, which gets the right to charge fees and control access to the courts and the community building in return for accepting the obligation to provide the bulk of the funding when the courts are deemed to need resurfacing. The club also pays the bill for the court lights and other sundry expenses.

I think it’s fair to say that the current executive feels that there’s no need for the club to make more than a cursory effort to recruit new members, since membership hasn’t declined too much over the past 5 years and the club’s bank account is quite healthy.

When I first joined the executive many years ago one of the first decisions of the new president was to abolish the executive position responsible for publicity and communication, with those responsibilities to be assumed by the president. To my way of thinking this concentrated control and made the club less transparent and accountable.

The club’s current strategy is to rely on existing members to refer new people. To sweeten the deal a 20% “kickback” is given to any current member who recruits a new member. Board members are eligible too.

So if you’re signing up at the Open House today and you know the name of an existing member, write his or her name on the form and both of you will get an extra 20% off!

I’m not necessarily against the idea of graduated membership fees – I think that the member who plays on a daily basis should perhaps contribute more to the club’s bottom line than the casual tennis player who just wants to play 4 or 5 times a season. I like the idea of half-price fees for new members.

Given the social and health issues we’re confronted with in Bells Corners, I think it’s important for the club to make more of an effort to attract new members and encourage healthy active lifestyles for ALL residents.

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2 Responses to tennis anyone?

  1. anonymoose says:

    All courts are unplayable. Until resurfaced find somewhere else to play.
    – Not sure why you say that – the courts were resurfaced in 2014 and I saw someone playing last night.

    I don’t think corruption is too strong a word to describe the way community facilities (the Westcliffe and Lynwood community buildings, the Lynwood Park tennis courts) are controlled by a small group of politically-connected insiders who give themselves and their friends free access while charging others to use public facilities paid for the taxpayer.

    If the community associations were transparent and put their information online the taxpayer would be shocked at the way public facilities have been taken over by a small clique of insiders for their own financial benefit.

  2. RacquetRacket says:

    Is the Bells Corners tennis club public or private?

    Bells Corners Moments

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