Sunday, May 2, 2010


On Friday afternoon, a friend and I headed over to the tennis courts at Kits Beach to hit a few balls.

Half the courts are asphalt, which is to say, they have no green paint or other surface that might give a truer bounce or allow you to use the balls more than once without having to throw them into the practice bucket because they are now grey and scuffed beyond recognition. The nets are sagging old pieces of dirty string.

The other courts, the ones closer to the beach on the north side, are painted green, but they are not much better.

Moss and grass are breaking through cracks everywhere, the white lines are completely faded, the nets are garbage and the courts slope in several directions at once. "Level" is a condition they've probably never experienced.

Green canvas strung across the fencing might somewhat abate the steady winds coming off the water, but how are we to know?

This is a very public place.

It is in full view and it is an urban disgrace.

So much is babbled on about the "legacy."

Sport B.C. is currently advertising for a new CEO or General Manager.

What good was all of that excitement – what good is a new boss - if we can't attend with some civic pride to the most ordinary accommodations for ordinary citizens who enjoy staying healthy?

I am hardly a wealthy man.

I am basically retired and I live on a very limited income.

But I would be happy to pay a $5 user fee for public tennis courts if it meant that they were put into playing shape and maintained.

The courts at Kits Beach are not the exception. Almost all public courts in Vancouver suffer the same abandonment of care.

In Montreal, public courts are beautifully groomed and ready for action. You pay a small fee to play.

In Toronto, many public courts have been turned over to small local neighbourhood clubs, who collect modest yearly membership fees and maintain the facilities in first class condition. Non-members can use the courts for free in off-prime hours or any time a court is open.

Show us the Olympic legacy on our street corners.

Teary speeches at the Board of Trade won't cut it.


Anonymous said...

Try the UBC courts David -- the outdoor fee is $5.00:



Anonymous said...

The city of Coquitlam decided to quit cutting the grass in a public park. They said it was to turn it into a nature park
Someone got a photo of a child standing in the grass up to his neck. In the back ground a coyote.
Maybe we should pay $5 so our kids dont become prey.


Anonymous said...

You know tax breaks for the rich, middle class, and the poor is just an excuse to make everyone feel good. We are sold a bill of goods that more money in our pockets is good for us. We as a collective body seem to have forgotten the reason for taxes in the first place. Taxes are a necessity for a civil society. For Pete's sake the Parks Board can't even cut the grass,paint and tar the cracks for tennis courts? Why are we paying the 'bored' (sic) members anyway? Every one shares the responsibility to see that society functions. Copying the USA is no way to go in Canada even though the present opportunists in Victoria seem hell bent on repeating their insane taxation policies which are about to bankrupt nearly two thirds of their states. California is about to go into receivership. Go figure. And Gordon and company seem to want to repeat THAT here in BC? Vote for recall in the fall folks or can you say GREECE in BC? Does Campbell care? Why should he? The Olympics gave him thousands of photo-ops to stroke his ego. As for the rest of us he doesn't give a @&$#.

PS If he had a spine he would be in the Legislature where we the taxpayers pay him to sit and answer to us. Does the word 'coward' fit here?

:) said...

Want to see change,
call tourism BC.
Call your city rep.,MLA, and MP.
Tell them, that this is no way to welcome foreigners to BC...:)