Tennis club launches contactless membership drive

 In Sports

The Creemore Tennis Club is using a court reservation app and a keypad lock as ways of adapting to the pandemic.
The courts have been open since the province entered Stage 1 of reopening but instead of conducting the regular membership drive, which is traditionally held at the beginning of the Creemore Farmers’ Market and involves the manual exchange of money and keys, the club took some time to set up alternative methods of operation.
Now, people can register and pay their membership fees online, and receive the code for the lock.
The club has been following the guidelines of the Ontario Tennis Association for safe play during the pandemic. Doubles tennis is now allowed but each player should handle their own balls and no handshakes. The app is supposed to help with bookings to avoid players lingering around the courts, and provides opportunity for players to communicate and set up games.
A hand sanitizer dispenser has been installed but in general, players are asked not to handle any of the tennis apparatus.
The club has always had a waiver for court accidents but they have added an additional waiver for COVID-19.
President Geoff Ayton said the club has opted out of hosting tournaments and providing lessons, which were geared toward youth and would have taken place in spring.
“It’s really quiet, and it’s sad that way. Because we love bringing kids in every year, it’s a new generation of tennis players from the village. It’s a great game,” said Ayton.
Membership fees have been reduced to $20 for an individual and $50 for a family. “It’s not that expensive. Compared to a lot of sports, that cost hundreds of dollars to start, tennis is relatively simple. You can get going with a pair of running shoes, a cheap racket and a can of balls and a membership that costs $20. I don’t think you can beat that.”
So far, 30 to 40 per cent of the members are new to the club.
“Tennis is a great game in COVID times because… you are outside and you are at a distance so it fits the requirements of social distancing really well,” said Ayton.
Subsidies are offered for anyone who finds the cost of the membership is keeping them off the courts.
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