The Okanagan Tennis Camp will run again this year during the week of July 4 to 8 at the Lakeshore Racquets Club in Summerland for youth age aged nine to 15.
The camp is one of the few in Western Canada that offers a full-day, week-long tennis program. Participants spend up to 30 hours on court during the week, with lessons and drills in the mornings and match play in the afternoons.
Robert Bettauer, former Canadian Davis Cup and Olympic team coach, is returning as the camp’s head coach. Bettauer is taking a week off from his full-time job as CEO of the Victoria-based Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence specifically to coach the camp.
“The camp provides a rare opportunity for young players to receive instruction from one of the top tennis coaches in the country,” says camp director Doug Holmes. “Everyone who participated in the camp last year came out of the week a much better tennis player with a greater passion for the game.”
The Okanagan Tennis Camp attracts junior tennis players from around B.C. and Alberta and this year there will also be a couple players from the Yukon. “They’re competing in the Canada Summer Games in Kamloops this August and are coming to the camp to help them prepare,” says Holmes.
There are also more local youth participating this year, which reflects the growing popularity of tennis in Summerland. “We had 22 kids playing team tennis at the club this spring and another 36 taking lessons through Summerland Parks and Rec,” says Holmes.
He adds, “One thing children, parents and grandparents all like about tennis is that it bridges generations and genders: young and old, male and female can all play together. You also don’t need to qualify to play or make the team. In tennis, no child sits on the bench.”