Volunteer Sujit Das gives residents pointers during early morning practice
Three years ago, Vince Fearon had a double-lung transplant.
The Bennington Heights resident battled idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and had to be treated with an expensive medication called Esbriet.
But, that’s in the past as the grey-haired gentleman admitted he was enjoying a game he had previously loved before he heads out to the World Transplant Games in Málaga, Spain this June.
“I used to play a lot,” he said, adding with his transplant, he’s found new lease. “Now, I’m resurrected.”
With him on this day, which was Tennis Day in Canada, were neighbours Linda Sweetland, Peter Ashby, Faye Caswell, Sam White and volunteer Maddie DiNunzio.
Coach Sujit Das was leading the sextet in learning baseline play, and net play. He’s been involved in the community at Bennington Heights Tennis Club for 10 years and has seen many kids develop.
“It’s been really cool seeing the kids growing up,” he said, in between drills. “A lot of the kids I started out with were really young and they’re in university now.”
The Bennington Heights Tennis Club is a volunteer board that pays a lease to the city, so they can use the courts date-to-date. They were included in Tennis Canada’s Tennis Day in Canada, which was a nationwide event to encourage interest in the sport.
“The idea is just to get people in the community involved, whether they want to learn or play,” he said. “We try to make it accessible for everybody.”
Tennis matches were scheduled later in the day, but Das helped the community members hone their volleys and baseline shots.
Sweetland said she loved the convenience of having the club so close to home.
“Most people want to join the snazzy clubs that you have to drive to join,” she said, with a laugh. “We love it in the summer.”
Over 150 clubs across the country took part in Tennis Day in Canada. That included free tennis lessons from Tennis Professionals Association’ certified instructors and access to courts.