Over 80 competitors descended on the Salmon Arm Tennis Club’s outdoor courts for the open tournament which is reportedly the biggest in the Okanagan this year.
Winston Pain, the tournament’s director, said there are two reasons for the events high attendance, the first is the weekend over which it was held. Normally held the third weekend in September, people were more likely to attend if the tournament was held over a long weekend. The other reason is due to the “buzz” created by the construction of the indoor tennis courts.
“It’s the talk of the tennis world. Provincially, people can’t believe we are doing this,” Pain said. “It’s hard to say in one sentence how it got done but suffice to say the community built this place.”
With a total of 81 players competing in 11 different draws, Pain said the athletes have come from across the province, with competitors hailing from Nelson to Victoria.
“We are told from other players that this is the biggest attended event in the Okanagan this year,” he said. “Of those 80 players, 60 are out of town.”
The nine-year construction process of the indoor courts included 8,000 volunteer hours and nearly a million dollars in donations from individuals and corporations in the Shuswap area. The courts even had a grand opening celebration in June but there is still work to be done.
Pain estimates the indoor facilities will be ready to take players in early October.