Patrick Audet stands in the tennis courts at the Castlegar Community Complex.

Patrick Audet stands in the tennis courts at the Castlegar Community Complex.

Tennis expected to be a big draw at Seniors Games

Tennis is expected to be a hub of activity for participants in the BC Seniors Games, with athletes competing in both Castlegar and Trail.

Tennis is expected to be a hub of activity for participants in the BC Seniors Games, with athletes competing in both Castlegar and Trail.

“Tennis is a popular event in seniors games,” said Patrick Audet, who is co-chairing the tennis events with Phyllis Dolgopol.

Since there are so many players, age groups were split between Butler Park in Trail and the Castlegar Community Complex in Castlegar. Ages 55 to 59 and 60 to 64 will play in Trail while the other categories, 65 to 69, 70 to 74, 75 to 79 and 80+ will play in Castlegar.

Audet explained each age category has several events: men’s, women’s, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

“We’re inviting the public to come and watch,” Audet said.

Bleachers will be set up around the courts (the Complex has four courts which will be in use at all times) and they’re hoping to have evening tennis on Aug. 18 — otherwise all games will end in the late afternoon.

Audet, who will be competing himself in Trail, said the competition will be good.

“People who travel here for seniors games … are here to up their games and win a medal.”

Each category will begin with a round robin and then move on to tournament-style with a double-knockout format.

Audet will be the draw manager in Trail while Ron Cameron will be in Castlegar. Their job is to make sure everything is running smoothly, but the players are their own referees.

“You make your own calls,” Audet said. “It’s up to the sportsmanship of each of the players.”

Volunteers will be assisting with scoring, handing out balls, and giving out cards for recording games.

“The volunteers make sure those cards get filled out and returned,” he said.

And, if it rains, the volunteers will help squeegee the courts.

Castlegar’s courts are expected to get a facelift before the games start, with a new practice board, new paint and resurfacing.

The Kootenay zone is represented in each age category and each event, so if you stop by there’s a good chance a local  will be playing. For more information on volunteering, visit bcseniorsgames.org.