Matt Mueller, 13, is on a mission. He’s raising money to enable the resurfacing of his town’s only two tennis courts. With a population of approximately 5,000, Petrolia, Ontario, isn’t a big town, but it’s one where sport participation is alive and well.
I asked Matt about his love for tennis. It began with a racquet he found on sale for $15.00 at Wal-Mart, and bought with his own money. Since that day, Matt has played daily throughout the warm weather, and travels to the nearby American city of Port Huron to play two or three times a week throughout the winter months. He loves the game so much, that he gives free lessons to anyone in his community who wants to learn, and used his ‘Christmas’ money to kick start his fundraising campaign to repair his local courts. Once he’s seen these courts resurfaced, he plans to continue his fundraising efforts with the hope of seeing some all-new courts built, perhaps as part of a recreation complex where tennis can be enjoyed year round.
Matt’s mother, a teacher at the local high school, started a tennis team this past fall (the school’s first in 23 years) and 27 teens immediately signed up. They play on the same two courts, cracks, crevices, weeds and all, that Matt is raising funds to repair.
To-date Matt has raised over $10,000 by way of a silent auction, the support of local businesses, and private donations. Matt was particularly touched by a donation from a student in grade four at his school. “I gave a presentation at my school to explain what I was doing,” said Matt, “and right after, a girl in grade four came up to me and handed me five dollars”.
“Tennis is starting to come alive in Rural Ontario,” notes Matt. “I am trying to help bring it to life”. To support Matt’s mission of resurfacing Petrolia’s only two tennis courts, please contact the Town.
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