Group assembles to support community tennis facilities
Let there be light! The number one priority of the newly-formed Cloquet Tennis Association (CTA) is to get better lighting for the tennis courts at Cloquet Senior High School. In fact, their theme is "Children Under the Lights are Seldom Left in ...
Let there be light!
The number one priority of the newly-formed Cloquet Tennis Association (CTA) is to get better lighting for the tennis courts at Cloquet Senior High School. In fact, their theme is "Children Under the Lights are Seldom Left in the Dark."
According to CTA member and varsity tennis player Dakota Koski, the lack of proper lighting severely limits options for anyone in the area who wants to improve their game - or just play a pickup game.
"Anybody who wants to get on the courts during 'playable conditions' has to wait all the time at the high school courts," said Koski. "A lot of times, all four courts at the high school are filled and you have to wait for people to get off - and then it gets dark. You could either go home or go to Pinehurst - but their lights are on at different hours all the time. At the high school, we can turn them on and off whenever we want. But they're very dim."
"In the fall, we can't get through a girls' match without it being questionably dark," added CTA member Tom Proulx, who helps out Cloquet tennis coach Steve Rickstrom with the boys and girls varsity tennis programs. "We can't finish them before it gets dark because we only have four courts. The lights are good enough to get by, but it's still pretty dark out there. Of course, we're going to work with what we have. We're going to use those lights as well, but adding additional poles and lights are a big additional cost."
The CTA, which is mostly driven by student-age kids, is starting a campaign to find ways to pay for a new lighting system at the senior high tennis courts - which carries a price tag of approximately $21,000. So they came up with a plan - send out letters requesting donations from local businesses, organizations and community members to raise the money. If they donate over $500, they'll receive a plaque at the Cloquet Senior High School tennis courts.
"Their contribution will not just benefit the CTA, but all community members young and old," stated the donation letter. "Tennis is a positive and healthy lifetime sport."
Tennis is becoming increasingly popular in Cloquet and the surrounding areas. Both the varsity boys and girls high school teams at Cloquet have seen record numbers of kids coming out for tennis, and Proulx feels anything to keep as many young people playing as possible will benefit the tennis program.
"A lot of younger kids are starting to play and need to get on the courts," said Proulx. "It's not just high school and future high school tennis players, but other kids playing tennis, which is great. We want to keep that going further.
"The good thing about raising funds to get new lights at the high school tennis courts is that it's a one-time thing," Proulx added. "Once we have the lights, we're hoping tennis will take off even further in Cloquet."
If you'd like to donate money toward getting new lights at the Cloquet Senior High School tennis courts, send your donation to: Cloquet Tennis Association, 1000 18th Street, Cloquet, MN 55720.
Pine Journal Editor Mat Gilderman can be contacted at: email@example.com .