Resident calls for tennis courts to be built in Nanoose

A Nanoose Bay resident wants the regional district to look at building a racket court facility in the community.

Ken Collingwood, who appeared as a delegation to the Electoral Area E Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee meeting on Sept. 13, noted that there are no public racket courts in Nanoose, requiring residents to either drive to Nanaimo or Parksville to play.

The tennis courts at Schooner Cove are no longer available to residents. They are no longer playable and were disabled when the nets were removed by the new owners of Fairwinds.

Collingwood said the courts are not going to be replaced, as they are not included in the redevelopment plans for Schooner Cove.

Tennis and pickleball are among the fastest growing participatory sports in Canada, said Collingwood, who indicated to the committee that the RDN should support the establishment of a healthy outdoor physical activity by its residents.

Collingwood pointed out that other communities much smaller than Nanoose Bay, such as Gabriola Island with a population of 4,000, have their own public courts.

It would require a small area of approximately 37m x 37m for a set of racket courts, which Collingwood feels would require less money compared to other park and recreation projects.

Depending on the court surface and other amenities that may be required, such as drinking water, toilets, landscaping, picnic tables and benches, a double set of tennis courts which will also serve as pickleball courts could cost between $25,000 and $50,000.

Collingwood said there are potential sites already owned by the RDN that have no dedicated use at this time that may be suitable for a public tennis court. He would prefer it to be close to Nanoose Place so as to further the RDN’s master plan for the community centre concept around Red Gap and Nanoose Place.

There has been no formal survey, Collingwood noted, but he said approximately 40 residents have expressed their written support for the tennis and pickleball courts.

On behalf of the residents, Collingwood has asked the electoral representative to take the necessary steps and direct recreation staff to start planning for and construction of a set ot outdoor courts in Nanoose.