This story was published in the Spring 2023 issue of Total Sports Quinte magazine
The Quinte Tennis Club, located since 1949 at the corner of Dufferin Ave. and Queen Street in Belleville, continues to attract players of all ages.
Youth are learning the sport, especially through camps offered, and adults continue to play recreationally and competitively.
In fact, there were more than 230 members last year and QTC president Gilles Chevrier said the four courts were able to accommodate everyone.
“We didn’t hear complaints about not having court time to play so everybody finds their time and with that amount of members everybody can enjoy it,” Chevier said, noting that other than one paid employee to help with maintenance, volunteers look after the courts.
“It’s quite a community happening.”
There are men’s nights on Mondays, Wednesdays evenings are for the ladies and Friday is for mixed action. There are lots of open court times during the week as well for members, who can bring guests as well. There’s also online software that enables members to coordinate times to meet up and play and match comparable skill levels.
“Somehow everybody finds their own time and there’s enough availability,” Chevrier remarked.
Chevrier’s wife, Dawn, who handles communications for the club said there’s a real opportunity to have longevity in the sport of tennis.
“I have had many, many tennis players that I know that have gone straight through to their late 80s and into their 90s,” she said. “It is a game for today and for the future.”
The Chevriers said the club is fortunate to have an Ontario Tennis Association (OTA) Certified Instructor, Jamal Bsat, on staff.
Bsat runs lessons with new members and often returning members later have an opportunity to join clinics as well.
“I usually start the fundamentals of tennis: ground strokes, forehand, backhand,volley, overhead shots, serve, rally,” Bsat said.
As for the youth camps, Gilles Chevrier said don’t delay if you’re interested in signing a child up. Last year’s camps filled up fast. A lot of participants return the following year.
Summer camp registration for 2023 will be held May 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the club. The camps will run from July 17-21, July 24-28 and July 31-Aug. 4. with times 12 to 3 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday.
“Every year I’m getting more new kids joining the tennis summer camp,” he said. “I think it’s getting popular and all of them really enjoyed playing. I take in kids from seven years old to 14 years old.”
Gilles and Dawn Chevrier both stressed the importance of introducing the sport to youth. Sometimes current adult members played when they were younger before life got busy and then returned to the sport years later.
The Quinte Tennis Club provides something for everyone.
“There’s a mix of levels that you can play at,” Gilles Chevrier said. “People find their own niche and we can see it that some are more competitive and some are more into just enjoying the game for a friendly get-together.”
Added Dawn, “we are a very community oriented club. We have social activities.If you just want to play tennis now and then, but be involved in social activities, it’s there for everyone.”
Keeping the courts in good condition is another way to bring everyone together.
“Our players after they have played, one of the rules is you rake the court and you do the lines,” Dawn said. “We involve our members, every single one that plays, after you’ve played – whether it’s two of you or four – you have to clean your court and do the lines.”
“Courteous to the upcoming players,” Gilles added.
A great feature for local tennis players, they said, is the QTC has Har-Tru courts, which are easier on the knees, back and body in general.
“It’s really amazing compared to just regular hardcourts and people find it very enjoyable,” Gilles said. “If you go down our region from Toronto, it’s not every club that has that kind of court so it’s pretty unique.”
The Chevriers thank the City of Belleville, which operate the facility and have done necessary renovations.
“The city has really helped us,” Gilles said. “It’s a great Belleville facility because there’s no other around you can play tennis.”
Check out the Quinte Tennis Club at quintetennis.ca