Carman Tennis Association urges use of courts

Emily Stobbe-Wiebe

With summer winding down, the Carman Tennis Association is still winding up, serving up good fun for the community.

Jack McKinnon, a longtime member of the Carman Tennis Association and one of the original tennis club founders, wants to get the word out about the great tennis facilities in Carman.

“It’s a wonderful facility to have and people who come say it is one of the best ones outside of Winnipeg,” he said.

The courts are open to anyone at any time.

“We don’t lock the gates,” he said.

Although there isn’t an active committee at this time, a group of members still get together to play tennis at a regular time. Men’s takes place in the summer on Tuesday nights from 9:00-11:00 after the sun has set.

“We’ll get anywhere from oh, maybe four to ten players,” said McKinnon.

There used to be a women’s Wednesday night time but because of lack of players, they had to quite, said McKinnon’s wife, Linda.

“We decided just to give it a break because we were having problems getting people out,” she said. “There is a Thursday afternoon mixed group that gets together at 2:00. We just drop in and then we pick teams and we go out and play for a couple hours . . . It’s pretty casual.”

Jack McKinnon says that tennis is the perfect activity for anyone and encourages people to come out and try it.

“Well, to put it on the top of the list, it’s fun and it’s a great healthy exercise. You play two hours against good players, you know you’ve had some exercise,” he said. “But it’s a social event too. Friends get together and do that. It’s a healthy, social event and we really urge younger people to get out and take part.”

Forty years ago, when McKinnon moved to Carman, he helped raise funds for a small single court for the community.

“We raised funds and expanded and it’s very expensive to put down . . . a surface, and we extended the fence and all that. That’s all volunteer work,” he said.

The work on the court didn’t stop 40 years ago. Consistent repairs to cracks caused by the winter/spring shift are always needed. Any current work needed on the courts is paid for by a membership fee paid by frequent users of the court or those who want to use the tennis court lights.

“We charge $75 a family and this is just to pay some hydro and some of the costs for refinishing the surface,” said McKinnon. “We have to get on them before they degrade.”

McKinnon invites anyone to come use the courts and if you enjoy it, to consider buying a membership. To buy a membership, contact McKinnon’s son, Ian McKinnon at 204-745-2657.

“We would welcome more people out. They would be welcome to come on the weekly get togethers or just on their own,” said McKinnon. “It’s an opportunity to involve young people and just to have more exercise and comradery in the tennis court.”