Hundreds will converge on the Oak Bay recreation centre in the new year for a chance to rule the court.
The New Year’s Classic Tennis Tournament returns for a 35th year, with the action taking place Jan. 5 to 18 inside the tennis bubble. The youths got an early start, with their tournament running Dec. 26 to 28.
Recreation Oak Bay tennis co-ordinator Ed Bakker is expecting upwards of 225 players, in age groups from under nine to a new category for those over 75.
“Some of them can still play pretty good,” said Bakker. “There’s a number of them that play pretty regularly in the bubble. We’re trying to keep that carrot in front of them to keep that competitive spirit going.”
He is expecting several scholarship players to compete in the open category, adding that the Classic has attracted national-level competition in several categories in the past.
“We have a very strong senior contingent in this town,” said Bakker. “There’s some veteran tennis players from around the country that moved here, and it’s really upped the ante in our competitive age groups in the 45, 50 and 55 age groups.”