Kits Beach tennis courts repaving on hold until 2011

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Megan Stewart of the Vancouver Courier reported today that the Vancouver Park Board will not be upgrading the Kitsilano Beach tennis courts this summer despite an offer from the Canada One Athletic Foundation to help pay for the work.  The Canada One Athletic Foundation is the organizer of KitsFest – growing sport festival at Kitsilano Beach Park.

Photograph: Dan Toulgoet, Vancouver Courier

The Canada One Athletic Foundation and the organizers of KitsFest, a burgeoning sport festival held on the beach, will pay to resurface the public courts with Plexipave, a rubberized paint, at a cost of about $40,000, when the upgrades happen. Under a similar arrangement with these benefactors, the basketball courts at the same location were rejuvenated in 2007.

Ian Robertson, a two-term park board commissioner who advocates to improve sport facilities and fields, said the community will benefit from the private investment, which he called “a very generous offer,” but said tennis courts elsewhere are prioritized.

“The board has got to make its priority decisions based on needs across the city, not necessarily the group that comes with the biggest cheque,” he said.

The three-year, $8-million capital plan includes $500,000 for upgrades to courts and fields. Five Charleson Park courts atop a parkade on Moberly Road in False Creek will be upgraded by the end of this year at a cost of $350,000 to $400,000 because the three-storey structure itself needs attention. The remaining cash is earmarked for half of the tennis courts at Kitsilano Beach Park, which will be levelled and painted at some point in 2011.

The southern bank of six courts are asphalt and the five to the north were painted green in 1990.

Ryan Clark, CEO of Tennis B.C. and an organizer with KitsFest, said the Kitsilano courts have the potential to host one of the largest tournaments in the province. KitsFest will hold a tournament for novice youth players, but Clark is not comfortable with any advanced-level events on the current surface.

“With the Kits Beach atmosphere and backdrop, I am confident that a quality upgrading of the Kitsilano courts site will turn it into one of the best places to play in the country.”

Last modified: July 14, 2010

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