When the news broke that there was a mudslide in North Salt Lake early Tuesday morning, the pictures of the crunched houses were broadcast all over the news. But Brad Ferreira, the Weber State University men’s tennis head coach, saw a disaster that went far beyond destroyed homes: The courts at the Eagleridge Tennis Club were covered in mud.
Ferreira has been the head coach at WSU since 2012, and founded the tennis club at Eagleridge in 2005. The fact that the facility was covered in mud and many of the structures had been deformed just overnight was gut-wrenching to a man that has worked so hard and long with the club.
“Everything is pretty much buried in dirt at the moment,” Ferreira said. “The metal beams that were holding up the covers over the courts are now bent. There was a 20-foot retaining wall that got destroyed and all but one of our storage units is totally covered.”
The bigger issue was that the club was set to host the Of Love tennis tournament, a fundraiser for juvenile diabetes research, on Friday. The tournament was relocated to the University of Utah and will still take place as planned.
The fifth annual Of Love Tournament, which started on Monday, will conclude on Saturday with the men’s, women’s and junior champions being crowned. There will be an exhibition on Friday night starting at 5 p.m. which will feature professionals Robby Ginepri and Rajeev Ram. The match will take place at the George E. Eccles Tennis Center.
“We were able to get the tournament moved so that we can continue to raise money for juvenile diabetes research,” he said. “It is a great event and if Weber students show their ID, they will receive half off their tickets.”
Ferreira has already met with city officials, trying to figure out what can be done to get the courts back up and running.
“We met with the mayor and other city officials to see what could be done,” he said. “We have to wait at least 72 hours to see if there is going to be anymore movement. It is frustrating because our lives and jobs are in dismay because of this accident. We have to decided a lot of things going forward such as who is going to move the dirt and when it can be moved.”
With the damage done, the club and community will now look into ways that they can better prepare to prevent such disaster from striking again.