VIA SBINSIDER | November 8th
For five years, an internal battle has been waged by the members of the tennis playing community and the official “Tennis Committee” over the color scheme of the playing surface of the tennis courts.
When SaddleBrooke was created, the association had two standing committees. one for golf and another for tennis. The reasoning was that SaddleBrooke is and was primarily an active retirement community and these two activities in particular needed representation to the HOA board. The chair of the tennis committee is appointed by the HOA1 board. For many years, that committee has been headed by Linda Depew, a tennis club member. She and her committee have brought many terrific improvements to the tennis facility, most notably the complete renovation of the courts 1-8 to post-tension slabs which virtually eliminate the possibility of the concrete cracking from ground movement. Of course, that improvement was at great expense to the HOA1 homeowners and was much appreciated by the tennis playing community. But, that improvement was not without controversy which has endured-until now. About a decade ago, the governing body of US tennis, the USTA, had done much studying on the best color surface color for ball visibility. It was determined that a shade of blue made the optic yellow ball most easily seen for the players. However, the Tennis Committee decided otherwise and recommended to the HOA1 board that the surface remain the traditional green. A group of very motivated tennis players including several of the club teaching professionals appealed directly the to HOA1 board to override the Tennis Committee and go with the USTA blue. They failed.
FIVE YEARS LATER
Per the contract with the court builder, every 5 years a resurfacing is done. Last year, courts 1-4 were up for resurfacing and the Tennis Committee again recommended green courts! This time with a survey in hand showing an overwhelming number of tennis players, who actually use the courts, wanted to switch to blue. After impassioned pleas by the tennis players to the HOA1 board, they once again deferred to DePew and her Tennis committee (4 members of which no longer play tennis,) and voted to resurface in green. Courts 1-4 went green again. (DePew argues that green matches the trees and foliage in the area.)
1 YEAR LATER
This October, the HOA1 board was in the process of the annual approval process which included funding for courts 5-8. Once again, the DePew committee recommended a green surface. Tennis players showed up at the HOA1 board meeting and make their voices heard. The vote was unanimous to resurface in USTA blue. In this instance the desire of those who use the facility was given preference to a committee’s aesthetic preference
Sometimes, persistence and facts can overcome recalcitrant, mountebank opinions.
Fitness and Wellness Committee in our Future?
Of course, as the community has evolved and residents asked for more activities, the board have responded with hiking paths, bocce ball courts and upgraded Activities Center etc. Now, the HOA1 board is proposing to create a Fitness and Wellness committee which will subsume, among others, the tennis committee. Tennis would have a seat at the table on equal standing with the other sports\activities.
Except Golf. Golf would remain as it is, a stand-alone entity.