tennis

Shirley Schimpf, Tina Hughes, Jerri Hays and Ann Saunders all meet twice a week to play tennis.

If you play a game of tennis against these Penticton ladies, you’ll be served nothing but love – unless conversation swings to the city’s ill-fated tennis bubble.

The group of four have been playing twice a week together for 20 years – and they’re all in their 80s.

On Fridays, the group can be found on the Skaha Lake Park tennis court. On Mondays, they often meet at the courts at McLaren Arena.

It’s the continuation of a lifelong sporting passion for Ann Saunders.

“I grew up in England, and we played in school,” she said. “I’ve played ever since.”

Jerri Hayes said one of the best things about tennis is the friendships she’s made over the 40 years she’s been playing.

“I got to know a lot of tennis people,” she said.

Hayes said the group used to play three times a week back when Penticton had a tennis bubble, which was demolished to make room for parking for the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The city promised to rebuild it, but has yet to come through.

“We went to city hall during council meetings, we did all types of things to keep their word and they never did,” said Hayes.

“They’re forgetting about tennis,” said Saunders, adding the city seems to have instead gotten behind pickleball, which is like a gentler form of tennis.

With fall steadily approaching and tennis being weather-dependent, Hayes said they’re considering taking up ping-pong since they can’t find a place to play their sport of choice indoors.