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Anticipation mounting for Alberta Tennis Centre

Last Updated Feb 5, 2016 at 12:29 pm MDT

Alberta Tennis Centre http://www.albertatenniscentre.ca/

Calgarians will soon be able to hone their inner Milos Raonic or Genie Bouchard.

The OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre, a not-for-profit state-of-the-art tennis facility, is set to open in spring 2016.

Tennis Canada director Ron Ghitter said the facility is a long time coming in our city.

“It’s a nine year labour of love to get some indoor tennis like this,” he explained to 660 NEWS. “It’s non-profit and is designed to develop tennis talent and open up a really wonderful facility for Calgarians.”

The progressive tennis centre will cover 71,000 square feet over 3.19 acres on land owned by the city in Acadia on 90th Ave S.E.

“That made it very feasible,” Ghitter said. “We’ve had the money that was raised, some $9 million, which has come from Calgarians, and some from the province of Alberta that’s donated some money toward it as well.”

The building will offer exclusive membership opportunities to the public. Members will receive access to a fitness centre, advanced registration and discounts on lessons and programs.

“It will contain eight indoor courts and five, even possibly six, outdoor courts,” Ghitter said. “It’s open to the public. There will be membership fees and court fees, but any profits that will be made go right back into tennis to develop junior tennis and programs for vulnerable kids.”

The centre, supported by Tennis Canada, will be home to a national junior training program and tennis development centre. The hope is to host national and international tennis championships, in addition to provincial, local and recreational tournaments.

“From Tennis Canada’s point of view, it’s a game changer,” according to Ghitter. “Frankly, it’ll be the best in Canada of its kind. It’s really exciting it’s happening in Calgary.”

On the heels of Raonic’s recent historic run to the Australian Open semi-finals, Ghitter thinks the timing for this building is just right.

“What’s raising the sport is players like Milos Raonic, Genie Bouchard, and Vasek Pospisil and a lot of juniors that are coming along that are turning Canada into a recognized, I won’t say tennis power, but we’re seeing some respect as a tennis nation,” he stated.

For more information, visit www.albertatenniscentre.ca.

AUDIO: 660’s Sandra Prusina talks to Tennis Canada director Ron Ghitter