Residents took to the Stadacona Park tennis courts Wednesday afternoon. Victoria opened its tennis courts on May 14 followed by Oak Bay and Saanich on May 21. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Back in action, sport courts reopen across Greater Victoria

Tennis, pickleball, skateboarding parks reopen, indoor facilities remain closed for now

Dozens of tennis and pickleball courts in Greater Victoria are re-opening this week as well as skateboard parks, bike parks and sports fields.

It’s part of the province’s phased return and it precedes the eventual reopening of recreation centres, gyms and pools.

Victoria removed the closed signs from its 23 tennis courts as of May 14 while Saanich is opening its 35 tennis courts and Oak Bay its 10 tennis courts for Thursday, May 21. Bear Mountain’s clay tennis courts also reopened on May 16.

“I’m very excited to share that we’ll be opening these,” said Coun. Ned Taylor, who chairs Saanich’s Parks, Trails and Recreation committee. “We know physical activity is incredibly important of our physical health and our own well being and we’re excited to support people getting out and being active.”

In the meantime, close-contact recreation facilities remain closed, including playgrounds, basketball courts, outdoor gyms and popular recreational facilities such as Crystal Pool, Saanich Commonwealth Place and Oak Bay Recreation.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay closes rec centres due to threat of COVID-19

In Oak Bay, Mayor Kevin Murdoch said it could be a matter of weeks until Oak Bay reopens its indoor facilities.

“I don’t think it’s a long way away,” Murdoch said. “One of the things that has to happen is getting WorkSafe B.C.’s stamp of approval and bringing back some of the [Oak Bay] parks and recreation staff members who were laid off.”

“But what camps and which programs are going to be allowed, we don’t know yet. The two big factors are what are we going to be allowed to do and how much time will it take to get things ready, how much additional staff we’ll need and how [time-consuming] the protocols are that we will need to follow.”

In total, Saanich is reopening 11 outdoor pickleball courts, 21 sports courts (e.g., lacrosse, basketball and street hockey), and the Lambrick Skate Park.

READ ALSO: Rec centres begin to reopen across Greater Victoria

Oak Bay’s outdoor courts are to be reserved ahead of time, which includes six tennis courts at Henderson, three at Windsor, and seven pickleball and multi-use courts at Carnarvon Park.

“I’m inspired by how well our community has reduced the spread of the coronavirus and come together and support one another,” Taylor said. “So, I’m confident that we can do this, that we can come together and get through this.”

To reserve a court in Oak Bay visit here or call Henderson Reception at 250-370-7200 (Monday-Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). To play at Bear Mountain visit bearmountain.ca.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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