Throughout our primary and secondary educational years, my friends and I could avail ourselves of the abundant tennis courts at local schools and parks to practice and improve our skills. Many hours were spent on those courts and I am grateful to have had that opportunity.
We still try to make it out to courts each week, but are finding fewer and fewer venues available to us. The court gates at two local high schools are under lock and key. Another local residential set of courts, recently resurfaced, now also has a lock on the gate. Presumably, you must be a “member” of the neighborhood to use the courts.
Vandalism may be the rationale for such security, but I cannot imagine it is rampant enough to warrant it.
Our local park has excellent courts, and they are free to use, but often there are tournaments in progress, thus limiting court time for those not in the tourney.
My gripe isn’t for me or my friend, but for the kids who don’t belong to swim and tennis clubs or live in an affluent enough section of town to afford them a key to its courts. As parents of today’s kids, we often worry they spend too much time inside on various screens and don’t get outside enough. Opening access to more courts could be one way to balance that out. Who knows? Maybe we we have the next Novak Djokovic or Serena Williams in our midst, if only they can play.