Of the many exciting developments at our club over the past couple of years, the recent acquisition of a high-quality ball machine is perhaps the one that excites me most. It brings me endless joy knowing that the only thing standing between me and a Federer-like one-handed backhand is a few dozen hoppers of machine-fed balls. The idea of spending over half my practice time bending over painfully and endlessly, to collect spent balls, however, kills my buzz.

A high-quality “ball mower” will do the job of shagging spent balls effortlessly, and in minutes, allowing much more practice time and far less collecting time. To own a machine of the standard that we have, without a collecting system of equal quality, does the practice concept a significant disservice.

To that end, I would like to spearhead a campaign to purchase a “Playmate Ball Mower”. Generally regarded as one of the highest-quality mowers available, it is the favourite of many clubs and pros, and has been personally test-driven by yours truly. In an effort to make this wish a reality, I am offering to match any donations to this campaign dollar-for-dollar, up to the purchase price of the unit (approx. $1000 CAD). Should donations flood in, in excess of the cost of the ball mower, I propose we put those funds toward the purchase of some curtain netting for court #4 (to keep machine balls from spilling onto neighbouring courts).

I’d like to kick this campaign off straight away, so that we have use of the mower for as much of this season as possible. I appreciate that many members are too financially stretched to contribute, especially during these unique and difficult times. For any members with a few dollars to spare, however, please think about making a donation as soon as possible. No amount is too small, and remember that every dollar counts.  The easiest way to donate is via e-transfer to the NTC e-transfer email: payments@nelsontennisclub.com . Please clearly note “ball mower” with your donation.  Thanks to Tammy, who has agreed to track and organize donations as they come in.

I’ll keep you updated on the status of this campaign through the monthly newsletter, or vial email if we reach our goal early.

Kevin McKechnie
Self-appointed CEO, Ball Machine Division

Angus (Playmate Ball Mower)