Tennis World set to open in Willoughby

Tennis anyone?

Players of all ages and abilities will now have a chance to hit the court any time of the year thanks to a new facility opening this spring in Willoughby Community Park, adjacent to the Langley Events Centre at 7888 – 200 Street.

Langley Tennis World was created through a partnership between the Township of Langley, the Langley School District, the Langley Community Tennis Association (LCTA), and its private partner, Mariana Mueller of Dimar Tennis World.

Starting in May, dry, covered, heated space will be available so that the public can play indoor tennis at costs much less than those at traditional private clubs.

“We would like to see tennis become successful in our community, like what hockey and baseball is,” said Mueller. An enthusiast herself, Mueller moved to Langley more than three years ago but was disappointed by the lack of indoor tennis facilities south of the Fraser River.

Believing the sport should be accessible and affordable to all, she found great support when she approached others about the potential for a covered facility. She partnered with the non-profit LCTA and the Township of Langley was asked about installing indoor courts on School District owned land in Willoughby Community Park.

The Township had planned to eventually build tennis courts in the park, but lacked the short term capital funding. The new partnership put those plans on track, and a fabric building that houses four separate tennis courts was installed. The temporary facility will operate for six or more years and to allow Dimar Tennis World to recoup its costs before an alternate permanent location will be considered.

“We want everybody to come and play,” said Mueller, as Langley Tennis World will provide both recreational and instructional opportunities, including traditional court times, progressive classes for kids that start with smaller balls, nets, and racquets, and new activities such as cardio tennis exercise classes that are done to music.

“All people from children to seniors should be excited and become active,” Mueller said. “Langley Tennis World wants to educate people about health, nutrition, sportsmanship, and discipline. We want to install good values,” she said, noting that the enthusiasm and participation levels normally associated with teams sports can be created through the tennis community at the new facility.

To help welcome new members, Langley Tennis World’s website features JUUMP, a link which matches players with others at their level, accepts online court booking, offers program registration, and provides information about leagues. Visit tennisworld.ca or langleytennisworld.ca for information.

“I’m getting huge support from the community,” Mueller said of the collaboration that created Langley Tennis World. “We will raise awareness about tennis, get kids playing. We will bring in tourists and tournaments. This has been a real team effort and none of use could’ve done it without the other.”

Langley Tennis World will open in May and is currently accepting reservations for court time and classes. Watch for the announcement of an open house in early May. Call 778-298-0888.