South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club plans yard sale fundraiser

Club has been a fixture in the Cowichan Valley for 134 years

South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club president hopes an upcoming yard sale will help the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club raise funds. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club president hopes an upcoming yard sale will help the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club raise funds. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

It’s a chance to get rid of some clutter and help out a local landmark while you’re at it.

The South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club is hosting a yard sale on Saturday, Aug. 7, starting at 8 a.m., and you don’t have to be a club member or even a tennis player to be part of it.

For $10, anyone can book a table or bring their own, and sell their stuff. To book a table or for more information, email info@lawntennis.ca

The SCLTC is holding the sale as a fundraiser to cover the costs of upkeep for its beloved facility. This past winter, for example, 40 feet of exterior fencing were blown over in a story, at a cost of $4,000 in repairs.

Now in its 134th year of existence, the club has a history of perseverance, having survived world wars, multiple floods, and now — if you include the Spanish Flu of 1918-1920 — its second pandemic.

“We’re a club that continues to survive based on two things,” club president Ed Bakker said. “One is that we are a non-profit society, and the other is that we are a volunteer-based club. That helps keeps us kicking with the fact that we have very reasonable rates.”

The club is run by a board of nine people that is active year-round.

“Once the grass courts close in mid-September, we start planning for next year,” Bakker noted.

The club has existed since 1887, and has been on its current site since 1907, receiving B.C. Heritage Site designation in 1992. The club helped make the Cowichan Valley a big deal in the tennis world a century ago, when there were several courts in downtown Duncan in addition to those at the SCLTC. Don Budge, who went on to win the first-ever Grand Slam of tennis in 1938, trained on the grounds.

“It was a must-see stopover tennis attraction,” Bakker said. “In the ’20s and ’30s lawn tennis was all the buzz.”

The last couple of years have been a challenge for the club. The 134th Vancouver Island Grass Court Championships — also known as “The International” — was cancelled for the second straight year, along with the 2021 Grass Court Classic and 32nd annual Biondo Junior tournament, which was replaced by a well-received high-performance camp on July 3 and 4.

The club has salvaged one tournament for the season as the Kay Wilson Memorial Mixed Doubles Compass Event is still on for Aug. 13-15.

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