The Cold Lake tennis courts at Ivan Krook Memorial Park were booming with action last Saturday bringing in more than 60 tennis fans of all ages as the very first Davis Cup themed PlayCity Tennis Festival in the province unfolded. The event was also an opportunity for the community to celebrate the opening of the newly resurfaced tennis courts that are the pride and joy of not only Cold Lake but also the surrounding Lakeland communities. Everyone wore their red and white in support of Team Canada.

The festival started with a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new courts with Cold Lake’s Mayor, Craig Copeland.

The juniors quickly took to the courts for a quick lesson to polish up their skills with Tennis Alberta’s Coordinator of Player Development, David Rossolatos. Kids as young as 6 and as old as 16 joined in on the lesson and then regrouped into two teams (Team Canada and Team India) to give a demonstration of Team Tennis competition while David explained what the Davis Cup, which is coming to Edmonton in September, is all about.

Team Canada won the short match, hopefully foreshadowing the results we hope to see in a couple of months.

Next were the adults, who couldn’t wait to hit the courts. David gave a short lesson to give everyone the basics of hitting forehands and backhands, utilizing portions of the ITF’s Tennis Xpress curriculum for adults Tennis Alberta is helping communities implement this season. Tracy Gagnier, a local tennis enthusiast and volunteer tennis teacher will continue running the Tennis Xpress program at the Cold Lake tennis courts over the summer.

The adults also had the chance to compete after their lesson in a quick session of winner up to get them warmed up for the highlight of the event.

All players at event were encouraged to participate in the festival’s one-point-eliminator tournament where players had the opportunity to win a number of prizes. Everyone, including the juniors, and adults from the lessons, as well as the Mayor played in the competition.

Throughout the event all attendants had multiple opportunities to win prizes by either participating in the Cold Lake Tennis group’s logo competition draw or in Tennis Alberta’s Davis Cup package draw. There was also a prize wheel to spin and grab goodies from our Wilson sponsor as well as the City of Cold Lake.

Everyone also lined up to take pictures with the giant tennis balls and rackets courtesy of Wilson and The Sweet Spot.

The event wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing work of local tennis enthusiasts Azam Khan and Tracy Gagnier as well as the volunteers from the newly formed tennis community of Cold Lake Tennis. Tennis Alberta is looking forward to having Cold Lake Tennis join in as our newest member club and helping them host sanctioned events in their home courts next year.

We also would like to thank Original Joe’s, Hamels Meats, Mach 1 Sports, Sport Chek Tri-City Mall, Canadian Tire & City of Cold Lake for putting together such an amazing event.

A big thank you to our Tennis Festival partner PlayCity for helping us promote the event and providing the platform to connect the tennis players of Cold Lake to meet and play more often.

The PlayCity Tennis Festivals is a new initiative by Tennis Alberta that aims to promote participation in tennis through fun filled themed events. Many thanks go to Keith Carder from the Lawn Tennis Association, across the pond in the UK, for sharing their experiences running Tennis Festivals in the UK and helping us polish off our program. All tennis communities across Alberta will have the opportunity to host a PlayCity Tennis Festival this summer and are invited to learn more about the initiative and apply to host one here.