Newmarket’s tennis and pickleball communities are looking forward to new facilities as the town holds meetings on the future of the two sports next week.
The town will unveil details on a new tennis facility coming to Bennington Road to replace the one in the downtown core. The next night, it will discuss the future of pickleball with the community as enthusiasts also seek more court space.
Newmarket Winter Tennis Club manager Sean Swail said it is an exciting prospect, and there could be 10 courts at the new location, versus the three the club is limited to in the winter.
“The plans that we’ve seen from the town look great … There’s going to be lots of room for us to do what we want,” he said. “It looks like a great area to develop and put in as much as we need.”
The town seeks to remove the current downtown tennis facility to add more parking space. To make up for it, it has arranged a new tennis facility to get built in the area of the new Shining Hills community.
Swail said the club will miss the central downtown location, but there was no room to expand.
“This place has been here for so long. It’s in such a great location, especially now with what they’ve done developing Main Street,” he said. “You take the good with the bad, but I think the most important thing is getting the additional space.”
The town is also looking to discuss the future of its pickleball community and get feedback on the needs there.
Elevations Athletics has been running pickleball programs in the community for the past few years. Owner Justin Mitchell said the growth in the sports has been significant, with more youth getting involved and the population of older enthusiasts remaining strong.
“It’s going to be one of the bigger sports we’ve seen in a long time,” he said, adding that they have successfully expanded out into the surrounding communities. “It’s been pretty incredible.”
Newmarket pickleballers have been looking for more indoor court space, Mitchell said. The town currently has six.
“More indoor facilities that have privatized lines,” Mitchell said. “The tennis winter bubbles, but for pickleball, I think it would be an absolute no-brainer for us.”
Pickleball could become an element of the new tennis facility. Swail said his understanding is the town is exploring that for some of the courts there.
As for tennis, Swail said they hope to offer some input on the facility design, such as ensuring a walkway between courts that people can use to view the games.
“Just having more indoor courts in the wintertime is the primary thing we’re all looking forward to,” he said.
Mitchell said pickleball is worth the town investment.
“It’s a great way to get people to escape and build the community back up from the scars COVID left,” he said.
The public meetings will take place at the town office at 395 Mulock Dr. The tennis session will begin at 7 p.m. Jan. 30, while the pickleball one will be at the same time Jan. 31.
You can get more information on the two meetings at heynewmarket.ca/tennis and heynewmarket.ca/pickleball.