One year ago, Tennis Canada, in association with the City of Burnaby, announced a partnership for the construction of the Western Canada Tennis Centre (WCTC). One year later, Tennis Canada met with members of the media to present the progression of the project and to highlight the different development programs which will be offered at the Tennis Centre, programs targeted to kids, young adults, families, wheelchair players and seniors, no matter their age, their abilities or their aspirations.
We now have a better understanding of the parameters of the project. In fact, the Centre will be located in the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex and will house 12 indoor and 12 outdoor courts, including a combination of hard and clay courts, as well as dedicated kid’s tennis courts. The Centre will also accommodate other racquet sports like pickleball and badminton and will be equipped with auxiliary services including fitness, physiotherapy, analytics as well as locker rooms and a second level viewing area.
For the occasion, Eugenie Bouchard and Rebecca Marino were on hand to support the vision for a WCTC as well and to hit a few balls with some local kids and wheelchair athletes.
“I am convinced that constructing this type of tennis facility in Burnaby will make a huge difference for the next generation of players in Western Canada. In addition, the entire Lower Mainland community will benefit from the indoor courts and extensive programming for recreation players of all ages and abilities, “stated Rebecca Marino, former no. 38 player in the world and Vancouver resident.
“Grassroots tennis continues to grow in the summer, but the need for more covered courts is evident if we want our sport to be available year-round,” said Eugenie Bouchard, former no. 5 player in the world. “This Center will also provide a better chance for young athletes who dream of a career in pro tennis to exceed their own expectations, and in turn, inspire more kids to pick up a racquet and play”.
“From the early stages of discussion, Tennis Canada and the City of Burnaby have always had a common vision for the Western Canada Tennis Centre. We are making good progress working together to achieve this vision,” said Michael Downey, President and CEO of Tennis Canada. “Tennis Canada and the City of Burnaby will have an operating agreement by year end, in follow up to the MOU signed last year. We firmly believe that the establishment of this Centre will significantly contribute to the growth of our sport from grassroots to high performance, as it will host, among other things, a National Junior Training Program and Canada’s only National Wheelchair program. Given the large number of courts, it will also host many tennis competitions covering local, provincial, national and international levels, bringing significant economic value to Burnaby and the Lower Mainland”.
“The Lower Mainland is a great place for recreational tennis and the addition of more indoor courts will provide more opportunities for year-round play,” said Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley. “This state-of-the-art multi-purpose tennis facility will provide community access to a wide range of programs for all ages and levels of play, including for people with disabilities. The WCTC will enhance Burnaby’s reputation as Canada’s premier sports and recreation city.”
The all-in costs related to the construction of the Western Canada Tennis Centre are estimated at $30 million. So far, nearly 30% of the funds have been raised. Ground breaking is targeted for 2021 with project completion in 2022.