History of KTC
KAMLOOPS TENNIS CENRE
1993 – 2016
When Kamloops was chosen to host the Canada Summer Games in 1993, it presented an opportunity for the KTC to expand and to become a major player in the city’s athletic and recreational profile. To accommodate the tennis aspect of the nation-wide games, eight new courts were built on Front Street, along the river with the involvement of one of the city’s most prominent organizations. To finance the new facilities, five local Rotary groups raised $125,000 for construction of the courts after the City of Kamloops provided the land on which the courts would be built.
At the time, the KTC was using privately owned facilities at Crossroads, including four courts with a winter bubble. The Crossroads courts were also used as a Canada Summer Games venue.
The city wanted the new courts to be well utilized, but did not want to manage the site, so the KTC was asked to assume responsibility. In October 1994, the KTC bought and located on the site, a trailer that was big enough to have an office and two washrooms. Outdoor leagues were scheduled at the Front Street site, in April 1995. The KTC also hired our first full time office manager. That fall, we returned to Crossroads, for the winter season.
The Village Green Hotel, in Vernon, put its old 4 court bubble & all accessories up for sale in 1995 and the KTC bought the used bubble for $30,000. Twenty five members loaned the club the necessary funds. It was moved into storage in Kamloops in 1996 while Crossroads continued to be our winter home until March, 1997 when ownership at Crossroads changed their bubble was sold.
In 1998, the City installed lights on 5 courts at the new Front Street facility, allowing the club to play well into the evenings. And two years later, in 2000, the Vernon bubble was rebuilt, to cover 5 courts. So, on the weekend of October 21 after five years of planning, raising money, scrimping and saving, the bubble was raised and KTC achieved the status of being the only member owned winter tennis facility in the Interior.
But, our glee was short lived, at least temporarily, because just four days after the bubble was raised, a storm blew it down. So, the Joyce Hyslop indoor tournament scheduled for that weekend became an outdoor tournament. Repairs were made and the bubble was once again raised a few days later – this time without incident.
The next decade was one of expansion and renewal as the club was able to bring its facilities into the 21st Century with a new clubhouse, upgraded courts, and a new bubble. In 2003 with the co-operation of TRU’s trades and technology group, plus the City’s recreation department, And efforts of many club volunteers, a 2400 square foot clubhouse was completed. The new building has a common room, kitchen/office, plus change rooms and shower facilities and it remains today as a gathering place for club members and where the public can come and experience the camaraderie that exemplifies the KTC.
The Kamloops Tennis Centre has had two full-time head tennis professionals, aided by several assistant coaches, during the life of the organization. George Lea was head coach at both the Crossroads and current Lorne Street facilities, while Kelly Hubbard is the current head tennis professional organizing grassroots development, junior programs, and the training of high performance players at tennis academies.
In 2007, the eight courts were refinished and two years later, in 2009, we installed a new double skinned bubble, blower & heater with a new state of the art indoor lighting system installed one year later, in 2010.
The club, with its great bubble and courts that are among the finest in the Interior, hosted the tennis portion of the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games that came to Kamloops. Tennis teams from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and The Yukon competed for a variety of trophies and we were able to welcome 12 wheelchair contestants with our fully functioning wheelchair washroom.
The Board of Directors and our great volunteers continue to make the KTC a great place to be.