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London, prefects and tennis courts

By July 24, 2019Tennis

Hopefully by now you’ve had plenty of time to enjoy the summer and play some tennis outside. We all know our Summers are precious, and short in comparison to our indoor season. It’s a good thing we have so many great parks to play at and an easily accessible indoor tennis facility AKA Courts Plus.

Whenever I go back to London, England I’m always reminded just how lucky we are in Fargo, North Dakota to have so many great outdoor tennis facilities. Just a few blocks from my parent’s house where I grew up in London there are 6 outdoor courts where I used to play at on occasion. I say on occasion because although they were public courts, the surface was, and still is no better than a worn-down parking lot. Not only that but there are no lights. Oh yeah and you have to pay for them! Just think about Island Park. Free courts that are updated every few years with lights, for free!

Unfortunately, that is how it is all over London. You’d be hard pressed to find free quality public courts and I would almost guarantee that you wouldn’t be able to find any with lights.

Also, when I was back in London I drove by the courts where I played tennis at in secondary school (high school). I’m sorry to say that those courts are completely unplayable. We really didn’t have a coach, he was mainly a driver. It was up to me as the captain of the team to recruit players. I remember one occasion when a friend of mine in the year above (the deputy Head boy) said if I let him on the team he would put in a good word and make me a prefect the following year. Turns out he was a pretty good tennis player, so it was a good deal for us and me. I got access to that sweet hifi in the prefects room, not so sure about the tie and gown. Anyway, the point is that we didn’t have an organized, coached team and our courts were barely playable at the time, over 20 years ago.  In our community we’re lucky to have strong high school programs with great coaches and great facilities. I think of a site like Discovery. The costs of the courts are shared among the Park District and school. The courts are free, and they are lighted.

Now don’t get me started with indoor courts. All the indoor facilities are private member clubs and non-members aren’t even allowed to play there, not even for an extra fee.

I would urge you to play tennis and take advantage of all our facilities that we’re lucky enough to have. If you’re preparing for your upcoming high school season then now is a great time to schedule some lessons with one of our great pros. Otherwise grab a friend and head out to any one of our free courts, day or night.