Tennis Club garners top honour

If you didn’t know the Red Deer Tennis Club existed, you should. The RDTC has been named Tennis Alberta’s Club of the Year 2011.

Officials with the Club didn’t expect the award.

“I know they have recognized what we’ve done, and been very impressed with the progress we made, and Tennis Alberta has been quite encouraging, but it came as quite a surprise,” says Dianne Rasmussen, Club manager, Red Deer Tennis Club.

In 2009 the RDTC finished the much talked about dome which allows tennis to be played throughout the winter months.

“I think it’s brought in a lot of people that normally wouldn’t have considered tennis.” Rasmussen said that it’s all part of a common goal. “It’s really been a labour of love for a lot of people; they were committed to the idea of indoor tennis.”

And the club is not only focusing on indoor tennis, they are also keeping up on their outdoor courts, and possibly that’s why Tennis Alberta is taking notice.

“The fact that we’ve got eight newly surfaced outdoor courts has really given us a boost even in the summer. Lots of times our courts are all full.”

Full courts in the summer and in winter may seem daunting, but they aren’t booked up all the time, the best times to go are between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, but there are always courts available for booking in advance.

This gem in Red Deer is not lost in the eyes of Tennis Alberta and according to Rasmussen, visitors to Red Deer have also noticed.

“The most common comment I think we have to all say we’ve heard is ‘Wow, this is the nicest facility in Western Canada’.”

And the word is spreading. Calls are coming in.

“We do get calls from other clubs, other cities actually, asking us questions and facts and figures about how if they wanted to start (a club) what would they have to do.”

The engraving on the award states ‘In recognition of your passions and efforts to grow tennis and contribute to the health and vibrancy of your community.’

The engraving sounds suitable, as they just renovated the clubhouse in the spring and that labour of love is paying off.

“Our clubhouse is so nice now we’re renting it out on Saturday and Sunday evenings for private functions.”

You can book times at the RDTC, their hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.