Resident designs tennis-ball game to be played at Frost Manor

Frost Manor resident Art Ouellette is pictured here with the Art Tennis Lob, a tennis-ball game he created with the help of family member Gerry Todd.

Art Ouellette worked with family member Gerry Todd to create the Art Tennis Lob

LINDSAY, Ont. – Art Ouellette has a collection of about 300 tennis balls and the Frost Manor resident wanted to do something that would put them to good use, so he designed a game that can be enjoyed by everyone at the Lindsay long-term care home.

An avid tennis player for most of his life, Art shared his idea to create a tennis-ball game with family member Gerry Todd. By working together, the Art Tennis Lob was born.

The Art Tennis Lob is a large-scale board game. The playing surface is fashioned from a door that Gerry cut in half. One half of the door forms a base with circular holes of different sizes cut into its surface. At the other half forms a retractable surface that players can adjust to the angle they desire.

Players then drop tennis balls down the incline towards the holes. Players are assessed points based on the size of the hole where their ball lands, with smaller holes accounting for the most number of points. Balls can be knocked into the holes by other balls to accumulate points or knocked out to lose points.

Art first approached Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Lyndsay Burton with his idea. The LEC admits it sounded complex and she wasn’t sure how she could bring Art’s plan to life. But when Art mentioned his vision to Gerry, the son of resident Chris Todd, his plan was soon put into action.

Within a couple of days, Gerry was looking around for supplies to make the game. The door used to make the playing surface was given to him for free. Gerry got to work cutting the wood and boring the holes. A few days later, he showed up at Frost Manor with the completed project.

“Not even a week later, he had come in with this game already made and ready to go,” Lyndsay says.

Art, who spent 40 years caring for tennis courts in Haliburton, says he was inspired to create a game that would be easy to play for residents who use wheelchairs.

“We figured out that anybody could play the game sitting down,” Art says.

The game will soon be introduced to residents, and Art says he is literally looking forward to getting the ball rolling.

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