Every Wednesday from now until the end of summer, clients at Penticton’s Discovery House will get a chance to hit the tennis courts and compete with some of the world top players.
Zach Laycock, director of the Penticton Tennis Club, is now offering free weekly lessons for people who stay at the addiction recovery center.
The announcement comes after the third annual Discovery House Tennis Event on June 22, where clients at the center were joined by members of the local sports club, along with Coun. James Miller, for an evening on the courts.
“It is a very important program that I started three years ago to share the opportunity to play and learn tennis with the gentlemen of the Discovery House,” Laycock said.
As for the upcoming summertime lessons, clients at the center will take part in drills and games for a couple of hours every Wednesday until September.
It’s not just those who stay at Discovery House, though, who are welcome to join in on the action. Laycock, a born and raised Pentictonite, is hoping the program will help addiction recovery clients reunite with family members as well.
“This is for the families, too,” he said. “If people want to bring their kids and spend some valuable time with them on the court, then that’s amazing.”
The summertime program was inspired by the story of Gord Portman, one of Laycock’s best friends growing up and someone who experienced homelessness and addiction for several years.
Portman, who recently celebrated two years of being clean, was motivated to get sober after heroically intervening in a Penticton house fire in which he saved two lives.
“He’s the main reason why I started this all three years ago,” Laycock said. “I want to give back to the community and do it for Gord, but also for everyone at Discovery House.
“There’s been some genuine friendships made.”
The lessons take place at the Penticton Tennis Club on Marina Way.