The tennis group took to the courts on a sunny day in July. PHOTO COURTESY OF CAITLIN TAMPOSI

The community vibe

Monday night tennis brings people together

Monday night is usually the only night Caitlin Tamposi, project manager for Montage Big Sky with Suffolk Construction, leaves work before six. Tennis nights keep her sane.

“Sometimes you just have to hit the ball as hard as you can after a long day,” Tamposi said.

Just after the Fourth of July weekend, Tamposi started looking for a way to get people together for a weekly tennis night in Big Sky. When she lived in Boston, Tamposi was part of a weekly tennis club that served more as a social event. Participants had drinks, played some causal or competitive games, but mainly came out to socialize.

Tamposi reached out to the Big Sky Community Organization (BSCO) to see if there were any preexisting tennis clubs in town. Currently, there were not, but BSCO said they could either set up a group or put Tamposi in touch with people the organization knew played. She went with the later.

“It is back to the printed pamphlets on the walls of a small grocery store,” Tamposi laughed about the way word got out about her goal. People saw flyers she put in the post office or at the Hungry Moose or heard the buzz from others who had donned tennis skirts and shoes a prior Monday night.

“It’s a fun group. It’s very mixed aged,” Tamposi said. In her thirties, she is sometimes the youngest person there and other times right in the middle of a mixed-gender and mixed-ability group.

Typically, six to ten people show up and the group plays doubles or sets and designates a singles court if space is available at the courts near the community park. Winners rotate on to a new court to mix up who plays who, getting in as many games as possible. “Really all you need is two players,” Tamposi said, but it is more fun if there is more going on.

While putting this article together, wind, clouds and chilly temperatures were felt and seen through a living room window. The weather does not worry Tamposi, though. Instead of showing up in a tennis skirt, there will be sweatpants. or snowpants.

“We’ve all got thick skins living out here so we can play a little longer than the average in terms of season,” she said. Some regulars have expressed interest in driving to Bozeman to find some indoor space if the weather is completely inhospitable.

Like the football league that started a bit over a month ago, tennis nights seem to serve a similar purpose. Tamposi is always surprised by how many thank yous she gets on Monday evenings. This summer involved so many cancellations and reschedulings, people seem to be itching for something consistent that also provides them with connection.

“While everyone wants to maintain social distancing, we live in a ski town for a reason and we all want to have fun a little bit,” Tamposi said. The outdoor quality and nature of tennis makes for an easier time with social distancing.

Interested? Join Tamposi and others at the community tennis courts near the Big Sky Community Park Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m., or until the light wanes.

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