NEWTON — On a beautiful Friday, eight women and three men found their happy place on the tennis courts at Newton Athletic Park.
The familiar “plong” of struck tennis balls could be heard on April 8 as members of Newton Seniors’ Centre Tennis Club served and rallied for the first time this season.
“We’re very rusty today,” noted Doreen Haddon as she took a break from playing.
“I mean we’re always rusty these days but we’re very rusty right now.”
From mid-April until early October, club members play every Tuesday and Friday at the courts on 128th Street, starting at 10 a.m.
It’s a chance for seniors to have some fun playing mixed doubles, unless the numbers dictate otherwise.
The recently upgraded courts have made for better playing conditions, too.
“We love them,” Haddon said as pals Ena White and Evelyn Kontic nodded in approval.
“They resurfaced all the courts, because there were all these cracks everywhere, and the nets had holes. I guess they can’t stop kids from kicking at them or whatever.”
The tennis club was formed nearly two decades ago, and several of the current players were involved from the start.
“My mom and dad played tennis forever and had so much fun doing it, so when I retired I wanted to do it,” said Marilyn Wiens, an 18-year member of the club who lives in the Fleetwood area.
New players are sought, but certain qualifications must be met.
“They have to sign up at (Newton Seniors’ Centre) first, and we pay $5 for the year,” Haddon explained. “These four courts are reserved for us, and people have to know how to play the game. There’s no test, but they have to know how to serve and keep score, those kinds of things.”
At the sound of a whistle every half an hour, the mixed-doubles teams are rotated.
“We try to keep it balanced that way, so nobody is winning or losing too much,” Kontic noted.
“Sometimes we’ve had some very strong players come out, but we’re not competitive enough for them, and that’s OK,” White added.
“And we don’t allow fighting,” Haddon said. “We’re also not supposed to question a call – and most of us don’t but a couple do. You know, ‘Are you sure that was out?’ That kind of thing.”
Above all, it’s all about being social and staying active.
“It’s a 55-plus club, and some of us are in our 80s,” White said.
“We’re having fun.”
For more details about the tennis club, call 604-502-7844 or 604-594-8783.
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