Petrolia teenager Matt Mueller has big dreams for his hometown, and he's working hard to make those dreams come true.
“The Lambton Active People Place (LAPP) will have tennis courts, pickleball courts, batting cages, running track and golf simulators,” says the 17-year-old.
The rising tennis star and a local committee are raising money for a multi-million-dollar complex adjacent to the local YMCA.
His LAPP committee consists of engineers, a lawyer, the head coach for the World Junior Canada track and field team and others.
“Matt came to me last fall with his proposal, he's done a lot of tremendous work,” says Town of Petrolia CEO Rick Charlebois.“The goal of his LAPP group is to raise $2.2 million for the capital project, and the town would maintain it.”
Petrolia Mayor Brad Loosley and his council have given the project a thumbs up.
“We're thrilled to have someone come and say, we'll raise the money, can we have council support and would you supply the land,” says Loosley.
“After reviewing a video from him, and because of his reputation in the past, we said no problem.”
Despite being a young high school student, he has already built a reputation of being able to get things done.
When he was just 13 years old, he raised $19,000 to restore the Mary Beach Tennis Courts in Petrolia. He also got a $6,000 contribution from Canadian Tennis star Milos Raonic.
“They went from worst courts in Lambton County to best courts in Lambton County,” adds Mueller.
Mueller has had the backing of Tennis Canada over the past few years, and this week was a their guest at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
This new project’s fundraising is still in the early stages, however he hopes to have between $2 and $4 million raised before he heads to university to play tennis.
The Sarnia Community Foundation has also joined in as a partner and will issue tax receipts for donations.
The Grade 12 student at Lambton Central Collegiate and & Vocational Institute (LCCVI) is excited that this facility would serve all of southwestern Ontario.
“It would be great to play all year and there is nothing from Windsor to London, so this would definitely be huge.”