Mono Tennis Club adding two wheelchair accessible courts, expected in 2022

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April 15, 2021 · 0 Comments

By Peter Richardson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Established in the late 70’s, the Mono Tennis Club has long been a mainstay of the local sports community, holding many tournaments and instructional clinics as well as playing host to the Plus 95 Mixed Doubles Tournament, annually. However, they are now about to expand their capabilities exponentially, with the receipt of an Investment in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) grant to allow the building of two new wheelchair accessible tennis courts at their Mono Centre location.

In cooperation with the Town of Mono, the Federal and Provincial Governments and the Club, the ICIP, Community Culture and Recreation Strain Grant will allow the building of $517,000, worth of improvements for the Club.

In addition to the two new courts, an accessible washroom and new parking facilities will be included in the build.

The Grant comes in three parts, with 40 per cent or $206,800 coming from Ottawa, 33 per cent or $172,316.10 from the Province and $86,941 from the Town of Mono as well; as the Mono Tennis Club.

The drawings and permits will be acquired in 2021 with the tenders going out in January of next year.

Shovels are expected to be in the ground by May of 2022 with project completion expected by September 30 of that year. The new tennis courts will be the same as professional courts, made up of a special asphalt material.

The Mono Club has long been at a disadvantage when hosting tournaments, unlike the surrounding clubs, in that they have had to rent space on other courts to facilitate an efficient flow of play. This will now put Mono on a par with surrounding venues and will give them the added bonus of having the only wheelchair accessible outdoor courts north of Toronto.

Wheelchair athletes are excelling in all manner of sports and now will be able to do so with tennis in Mono.

Club President, Peter Gibson says the Club is very excited to receive the grant and are really looking forward to future possibilities. He explained that COVID-19 restrictions have been very hard for the club, but that the 130 members have remained upbeat for the future. He explained that the club pro, Ashley Spironello, in particular is excited as she is qualified to teach wheelchair tennis. Peter explained that, in the past, it has been known to happen, that when playing a Round Robin Doubles Tournament or even games, that as the evening goes on the lights, will sometimes be turned off before the play can be finished, due to only having two courts. this will no longer be an issue.

Peter said that apart from its popularity, tennis is also very inexpensive.

A good racket will cost about $200 and a player will sometimes own two rackets, however, he has not bought a new racket in 10 years, so his investment has amounted to $20 per year. He has his rackets restrung, perhaps a few times a season at a cost of $30 each time and a can of three tennis balls costs $5.00. Add to that your membership, in Mono, that is $150 for a family membership, which is two spouses and unlimited children under the age of 18. Your total investment is less than your after play bar bill at one of the local golf clubs!

Kim Heaton, the Director of Recreation, for the Town of Mono, was equally as excited about the awarded grant. It had been applied for in 2019 and first went through the Province, before going to Ottawa. One of the provisions of the Grant was that the recipient be incorporated, which was how the Town got involved.

Kim explained that by its nature, tennis was very popular, despite COVID-19, due to the fact that families could continue to play since they were outside and separated. This was also mentioned by club President, Peter Gibson. Kim was pleased to see the addition to the tennis facilities of Mono and is looking forward to the completion of the new courts.

Peter Richardson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen