What’s New

Read our spring 2021 members newsletter

April 12, 2021

The purpose of this email is to update you on a variety of things that are currently happening at the March Tennis Club, as well as inform you of some changes we have made to enhance your experience as members for this summer. 2020 was a very good year for the club. Despite the restrictions imposed on us by the COVID pandemic, the courts were as busy as ever and our financial condition is very solid. We intend do do everything in our power to be sure that success continues in 2021 and beyond.

CLUB OPENING. We have already communicated the details of our April 12th opening and will not repeat all that here. However, it is important for us to constantly reinforce that our ability to remain open depends upon all members abiding by the rules we agreed to in order to obtain permission from the City of Ottawa to open early. We thank you, in advance, for your full cooperation. Since the club will not be staffed until May 1, we ask members to assist us in the enforcement of these rules while they are at the club.

INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMS. Adamson’s Tennis Academy will once again be providing our youth and adult instructional programs this summer. Their current program line-up has been updated on their web site at www.adamsonstennisacademy.com. As these programs fill up quickly, especially since maximum enrollment is limited by COVID regulations, we encourage you to sign-up soon.

ROUND ROBINS. We intend to continue the successful series of Monday night Mixed Doubles Round Robins that we started last summer. The dates will be announced and enrollment will begin by May 1st. As a result of feedback received from the member survey, we are considering other round robins, but we are always mindful of the need to properly balance the use of our courts in the best interests of all members.

INTER-SQUAD DOUBLES. Thanks to the volunteer efforts of member Prakash Tejwani, we have a doubles round robin event that is focused on our senior members. This group plays weekday mornings two-to-three times a week. If you are interested in joining, please contact Prakash at ptejwani2015@gmail.com. (NOTE: This group will be playing singles until the doubles restriction is lifted by the city/province.)

FREE MEMBER SKILLS CLINICS. We are pleased to announce that this summer Adamson’s Tennis Academy has volunteered to offer a series of free monthly skills clinics for members. Each of these clinics will be focused on a specific tennis skill. The schedule for these clinics, COVID regulations permitting, will be announced in May, and registration will begin at that time.

EXPANDED HOURS. Due to the increased demand from members for court time, and suggestions received from the member survey, we are making changes to our operating hours:

1.   Courts are now available for booking starting at 7:00am every morning of the week (rather than the traditional 8:00am)

2.   Until May 1st, the last booking of the day will end at 7:00pm, and the lights will not be turned on. Then from May 1 until June 27, the last booking will end at 10:00pm and the lights will be on from dusk until 10:00pm as usual. However, for the period June 28 through August 30, the last booking of the day will end at 11:00pm (rather than the traditional 10:00pm), and the lights will be on from dusk until 11:00pm.

3.   We will extend the season past the traditional formal closing date of October 1st, like we did last year, until the weather forces us to close. The standard membership pricing will cover this extended time.

STAFF. We are pleased that the majority of our staff from last summer will be returning. This includes Owen Dougerty, Carter Goveas, Malcolm Goveas, Kousha Motezadian and Rosalie Vihneron. Alex Trzmiel has decided to no longer work as an MTC Court Captain as he prepares to begin his long-term career. Alex has been an MTC member and Court Captain for many years, and we want to thank him for his contribution and wish him well. He will still be around the club at times though, as he will be assisting as an instructor with Adamson’s Tennis Academy.

ASSISTANT MANAGER. We are pleased to announce that Malcolm Goveas has been appointed to the position of Assistant Manager for the 2021 season. Malcolm is a long-time member of the club, and has served as a Court Captain for many years. As Assistant Manager, Malcolm’s responsibilities will include Head Court Captain, managing the Tuck Shop/Snack Bar, coordinating round robins and other club events, and improving the club’s social media presence.

NETS, WIND SCREENS and COURT DIVIDERS. Following our normal yearly practice, we will soon be replacing some of the older nets, net straps, wind screens and court dividers.

CLUB OPERATION. We will again be using CourtReserve for membership purchase and event registration, as well as court booking, and Tennis Rungs to manage the ladder. MTC has very successfully transitioned to a cashless operation, and we will continue that into the future.

BOOKING RULES AND REGULATIONS. We will use the same booking rules and regulations that we developed and implemented last summer. They are posted on the club bulletin board, on the welcome page of the CourtReserve system and also on our web site HERE.

MEMBER’S SINGLES LADDER. The 2021 Member’s Singles Ladder has been opened and is ready for registration and play. We already have many members signed up, and we expect this will be a success again as it was last year when members played more than 400 ladder matches throughout the season. If you participated in the past, all you need to do is log on to your Tennis Rungs account and signup for this year’s ladder. If you’ve never participated before, you can establish your account HERE.

TUCK SHOP/SNACK BAR. Last summer, we were forced to close our Tuck Shop/Snack Bar to comply with COVID regulations. Assuming that we are allowed to operate it this summer, we intend to re-open and enhance it a bit with a slightly expanded menu.

SOCIAL EVENTS. Last summer, we were not able to have any of our traditional social events due to COVID restrictions. We believe those restrictions will also keep us from this activity this summer, but if not we will definitely resume them.

COURT LIGHTS. There are three or four court light bulbs that are burned out. These will be replaced some time during the month of May.

COURT RESURFACING. As you know, we began the process of resurfacing all 8 courts last fall (filling the cracks and re-painting). As soon as the weather allows, that process will be completed. Although it would be nice for us to complete that work now, after discussions with the contractor, as well as with the manufacturer/supplier of the paint, we are aware that the nighttime forecasted temperature must be at or above +10c for at least 7 days before and after the painting is completed in order for the material to adhere to the court surface and dry properly.

MEMBER SURVEY. We were very pleased with the response rate we had to our recent member survey, and thank the 200 members who participated. We had lots of thoughtful input and some great suggestions on how we could improve the member experience at MTC. Overall, we are extremely happy with the results. Out of the 200 responses, 93% indicated they were either very satisfied or satisfied (51% and 42% respectively), 7% indicated they were somewhat satisfied and only 1 member indicated they were dissatisfied. In summary, members indicated the thing they like the very best about the club is the staff. We are very pleased with that, and extend our thanks to the court captains for their great efforts. Other items that ranked at the top of the list included the court booking system, membership sign-up process, quality of courts, value for money of membership, instructional programs and the Adamson’s Tennis Academy web site. At the other end of the spectrum, items that ranked at the bottom of the list included washroom facilities, clubhouse, social events, round robins and grounds . . . clearly things that we will work on improving.

CLUB HOUSE RENOVATIONS. Many of you are aware that our club house is not in a good state of repair. The major issue is structural in nature, as the deterioration of the wooden foundation is causing the building to sink, especially in the southeast corner. The March Tennis Club property, the courts and the club house, are all owned by the City of Ottawa, and operated by MTC under contact with the City Department of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services. Although the financial responsibility for structural repairs contractually lies with the City, it has been difficult to convince them to allocate funds to this project, especially when the budget has been under such severe pressure over the last several years. However, last fall we were able to convince them to include the project in their 2021 capital budget submission ($240,000 plus a contingency for cost overruns), and that budget was approved by Council during their budget deliberations last winter. Since then, the City has assigned a Project Manager from their construction group, and he has been working on planning the renovation. So far, the construction plan and architectural drawings have been completed and approved, test holes have been excavated and analyzed to determine the strength of the soil and location of rock under/around the structure, a hazardous substances analysis has been conducted and successfully completed, and an application for a building permit has been submitted. As soon as the building permit is approved, which we expect will be in the next two-three weeks (apart from any COVID lockdown related delays), a public request for bid will be released to the local construction community. Although it is very difficult to predict, we expect that the actual construction will begin in the fall, and will last two-four weeks. The plan has been developed to minimize impact to our use of the club house office and washrooms during construction. It is important to note that this project will be completely funded by the City of Ottawa. No March Tennis Club funds will be used at all. Although we have routinely been updated on the status of the project, we have had no control over the details of what will be done, and how it will be done, since this is a City project. No changes in the layout or floorplan were permitted, only repairs to the existing facility. The City did consider the cost of replacing the structure vs. the cost of repair, but as a result of the significantly higher cost of replacement they opted for repair. We will keep you updated on this project as it progresses.

That’s it for now. Stay turned for more news and additional updates as we navigate the club together through these interesting and challenging times.