March 2021

Pandemic Update

 The Covid-19 pandemic of this last year has temporarily knocked down all our club’s official activities, but our underlying spirit remains strong. Members have had to make sacrifices and adjustments over the course of the pandemic to ensure personal and community safety, but they are minor compared to most other sports and social organizations. Families the world over have faced devastation due to the Covid 19 virus, and our hearts go out to all of them.  Vancouver Island has remained relatively safe, but a few local families have been affected. We are so lucky to live here in the Comox Valley.

 The sport of Tennis has built-in social distancing and is always played outdoors in the Comox Valley. For these reasons, tennis continues to be played throughout the valley. Although no one knows the pandemic’s course in the upcoming months, hopefully our club can soon resume official functions like drop-ins, league play, interclub visits and many other social events. Not to mention using our fabulous clubhouse. 

 CVTC members have a responsibility to follow all BC Public Health Orders. The current Public Health Order allows adults to recreate outdoors in groups of four if a three-meter distance is maintained by all participants. This allows for singles and doubles tennis if the law is closely followed. As club members we can set an example to the wider community: keep your bags 3M apart, do not stand close to others and leave balls on the court when switching ends. Let’s keep our community safe and our courts open!

New Club Structure Ready To Roll

 The CVTC administrative structure has undergone big changes in the last few months. Sandra Clarke has stepped up and volunteered to be our new president. Thank you Sandra! VP duties will fall to Shane Field. Doug Shantz as Secretary and Maury Harte as Treasurer round out these four traditional Board director positions. The Board also has five additional ‘directors at large’ resulting in a nine member total. Directors at large: Catherine Black, Judy Francis, Kim Lessard, Rosemary Nash, and Diane Calder.

Sandra Clarke


Shane Field


Maury Harte, Treasurer

Doug Shantz, Secretary

Committees: Engineered by past president Catherine Black to improve volunteer participation and responsibility sharing, five committees have been formed to facilitate smooth and efficient club management. Volunteers will be working in teams dedicated to specific areas. The five committees: Administration, Communications, Social, Tennis and Facilities.

Catherine Black

Administration responsibilities include club governance and bylaws, municipal liaison, Tennis BC membership, insurance, clubhouse leasing, bookkeeping and financial accounting/reporting, correspondence, and the Annual General Meeting. Chaired by Doug Shantz, the additional members are Catherine Black, Rosemary Nash, Maury Harte and president Sandra Clarke.

Communications responsibilities include the club website, press releases, club Facebook page, membership-wide emails, bulletin board posters, press releases and newsletters. Chair Maury Harte will be assisted by Judy Francis, Rosemary Nash and Shane Field.

Rosemary Nash

Simon Richards

The Tennis Committee oversees club leagues, tournaments and inter-club visits. It also handles Junior programs, Drop-in tennis, municipal court bookings and signage. Chair Sandra Clarke will be working with Diane Calder, Catherine Black, Simon Richards, Joanne Schroeder and Michelle Sirett.

  Diane Calder      

Joanne Schroeder     

      Michele Sirette

Chaired by long-term member Judy Francis, our Social Committee provides a positive environment for all members and is vital to our club’s success. This team’s wide range of duties include recruiting and supporting new members, organizing and managing Drop-In nights and assisting with Inter-club visits. In addition to promoting all aspects of club activities, this committee also puts on our popular annual Christmas party. Assisting Judy will be Shirley Kirk, Kim Lessard and Shane Field.

Judy Francis

Shirley Kirk  

       Kim Lessard       

Jim Ritzel

The Facilities Committee helps with infrastructure maintenance including court and clubhouse cleaning as well as net/squeegee adjustment and replacement. It also looks after the equipment lockers and the club ball machine. Members include chair Shane Field, Jim Ritzel, Kim Lessard, Cynthia Tree, Doug Shantz and Diane Calder.

     Cynthia Tree   

As we plan for the current and future tennis seasons, we thought it was important to hear from the membership on what they value most in the club.  Please click the blue button to the left to complete the survey.

Membership Renewals 2021 – Catherine Black

 The crazy Corona spring of 2020 resulted in the club canceling all activities, so we decided to offer free membership renewals to all active members for 2021.  91 clever members managed to do this before the coupon expired! There’s got to be a few jokes about seniors somewhere in this – I’m sure Judy has thought of at least a half dozen. Thank you to everyone for indicating an area to volunteer, this will allow committee chairs to easily call up reinforcements for their crews when additional help is needed. Likewise for the Code of Conduct, Photo Release and Waiver. As the pandemic will most likely still be with us when we begin organizing activities in the spring, we are asking members wishing to participate in ANY club organized activity to agree to the terms or the waiver.

Benefits of CVTC Membership – Judy Francis

 What a year 2020 turned out to be!

 Little did we know when we celebrated the arrival of the New Year 2020, that it would be a year we will never forget. Starting at the beginning of March, practically everything started to change in some way. The tennis courts were actually closed with yellow tape and unfortunately all the official tennis club activities had to be cancelled. However, once the courts were reopened in May, they were busier than ever.

 Whether you realize it or not, every time you step on a tennis court either in Comox or Courtenay, you are benefiting from being a member of the Comox Valley Tennis Club. The combination of the membership dues you pay, plus the efforts of members who volunteer their time are what make our club so special. All volunteers work very hard to make the Comox Valley Tennis Club the success it is, and a club you can be proud to be a member of.

 The club works closely with both the Town of Comox and the City of Courtenay to provide everyone with the best possible tennis experience. The club is also very supportive of Junior Tennis and has a very active Junior Tennis program.

 Maintenance of the courts costs money and is ongoing. The cost to power wash the courts is approximately $1400 (done every two years) and this is split between our club and the Town of Comox. Members through their dues also help pay for new nets and squeegees, and the existing ones are repaired by our volunteers. A new leaf blower was purchased and now the leaves on courts 5 & 6 at Anderton Park are  blown off by members and town workers.

 The club is a great way to meet people and provides lots of fun and challenges on the courts.

Many special friendships have been made over the years by belonging to the club. Let's not forget the other wonderful advantages of being a member of the Comox Valley Tennis Club.

  • A variety of league play is offered including Ladies Double, Men's Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Singles - all at no extra cost..
  • Organized fun tournaments
  • Drop-in events (great for both new and not-so-new members)
  • Inter-club visits with Powell River and Parksville (Arrowsmith) tennis clubs
  • Access to a ball machine for practicing strokes

This year has been very different from any other and hopefully we can get back to "Normal" tennis in 2021.

Court Report – Shane Field

Anderton Park

 I’ve recently had discussions with the Park Superintendent of the Town of Comox and he reports they are considering digging trenches above courts 5 & 6 to assist with winter drainage. The January rains showed drainage problems at all their parks, so they are now looking at various solutions. Courts 5 & 6 have difficulty drying in the wet seasons because they sit on what amounts to an underground pool of water. (Courts 1-4 had tons of drain rock added to their foundations when they were rebuilt a few years ago, which results in much faster drying times.)

 The lack of sunshine on courts 5 & 6 due to trees is another major reason these courts have difficulty drying. Comox reports they have no plans to remove any trees at Anderton Park. Removing trees in any community is now ‘seriously frowned upon’ by the public, never mind cutting down trees inside parks. So we’ll have to live with the trees.

Court 4 has a spanking new net and the old one was permanently retired.

We are all looking forward to using the clubhouse again. Hopefully it will be safe to do this in the spring or summer of this year.

Several members have inquired about the possibility of installing wind screens. So far, research has shown that the type of flexible screens usually used at tennis clubs is easily damaged by coastal windstorms. Combined with their high cost, this makes it unlikely the club or the municipality will want to invest in screening in the near future. Oh well.

 Members are asked to be careful when using squeegees to push water off the court. Only the rubber on the squeegee should ever touch the court. The court will be damaged if the frame scrapes the surface. Although tempting to some diehards, snow removal is no longer allowed at any time because of the risk of damage.

Lewis Park

A couple of weeks ago I met with a representative of the City of Courtenay to discuss this year’s Lewis Park court maintenance plans. We walked around the courts and had a good look at the court surface, the nets and the fencing. Courtenay was caught by the pandemic last year and was not able to do much maintenance. Thankfully, the city now wants to make up for lost time.

Power washing was completed this week and fence repair will be done in a few weeks. The city has committed to replacing the nets along with their straps and anchors. The court 4 net was replaced by the city this week and hung by our club’s Facilities team.


The city is also looking at converting a portion of the current Horseshoe Club storage locker into a squeegee locker. If this project is approved, the city says it will make sense to install an access gate into the horseshoe pits from court 4. Hopefully this project is approved because in addition to easy squeegee access, in high summer players will be able to enjoy the shade provided by the roof structures over the pits. Shade is in ‘noticeably short supply’ at Lewis Park in the summer, causing players to leave the park quickly after playing.

Lights are available again at Lewis Park from Monday to Friday. Players need to contact the Lewis Center front desk during business hours to set up lighting for their play. This can be done in advance of the day the lights are wanted. Unfortunately, the service is not available on weekends. But - there is no cost for the lighting.

Robb Road Courts

A question: Did Robb Avenue used to be named Robb Road? I have only lived in the valley for a few years, but I’ve never heard these courts referred to as the Robb Avenue courts. Everyone calls them the Robb Road courts, including Comox’s Parks Superintendent. Anyway, this little facility is underused and underappreciated. In the winter with the sun lower in the sky, their east-west orientation really helps with vision during play. It’s not too bad at Lewis, but at Anderton (where the courts are aligned north-south) the winter sun is often right in your face when you’re trying to line up a serve or overhead. And as most members know, the reflective glare off a damp court at Anderton is sometimes worse than having the sun directly in your eyes.

These courts do need a good cleaning, and Comox has agreed to power wash them this spring.


Blast from the Past

Ron Speaks For Us All

 A couple of months ago member Ron Clough shared a short but powerful photo essay with a few tennis friends. It is not known if Ron put the essay together himself, created it with assistance from other creative types, or just discovered it with his flawless eye. Regardless, the entire newsletter staff agrees that we have never seen a better expression of what it was like to live through the last year. Thank you Ron. Readers can scroll down to review the essay.

Have your own tennis stories ?  Please share them on our Facebook site !