This season, the North Shore Towers Country Club community welcomed a new face to its staff – Tennis Professional Rick Bates.
Previously, Bates was the professional at the Knickerbocker Tennis Club in Port Washington, which recently closed. Bates said that he had been given a heads up about the club’s fate and began talking to friends in the community about possible openings.
One person suggested he inquire about a position with the North Shore Towers Country Club. He said he was already familar with the cooperative’s facilities and had played golf at the Towers several times.
Bates officially began when the tennis season kicked off on Saturday, April 25. The community has been very nice and welcoming to Bates, he said, adding that he is excited about his new position.
Also, Bates said that he felt he must have a guardian angel to have been able to get the position, particularly because of the current economic situation.
Born in Roslyn, Bates was a child when he first became interested in tennis. He said neither his parents nor any of his siblings were interested in the sport. However, Bates saw a tennis racket lying around one day, picked it up and gave it a try. He has been playing tennis ever since.
Bates later moved to Douglaston and attended Bayside High School, where he played on the tennis team. He now lives in Jericho with his wife and 18-year-old daughter, who has received a tennis scholarship to go to college.
Throughout his life, Bates said tennis has opened many doors for him. For that reason, he encourages parents to get their children involved in the sport.
It is through tennis that Bates has made many of his friends. He said that there are players he met during childhood tennis tournaments who he is still friends with to this day.
Bates said that another good thing about tennis, as well as golf, is that it can be played throughout a person’s life, unlike some other sports. He added that it can be played at any skill level.
Even after 40 years of being involved with tennis, Bates, who has been teaching for much of that time, said that it still excites him.
From May 1 to September 7, the prime time play on the courts will be 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The courts will close at 5 p.m., although evening play can be arranged with Bates.
There will be an open tennis meeting for present and prospective tennis members at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20 in the VIP Room.