Fore Court celebrates 40 years of fitness success

Fore Court celebrates 40 years of fitness success

CUMBERLAND - It started as a tennis club. Forty years later, Fore Court Racquet & Fitness Club is that and more as the Morin family continues to run a landmark fitness center in the community.

Fore Court was opened at 44 Cray St. in November 1973 by the late Maurice "Moe" Morin, of Bellingham, Mass. It is now run by his sons - David Morin of Bellingham, Mass., is president and general manager; and Brian Morin of Smithfield is vice president and a tennis instructor.

The club has seen several expansions from its early days as an eight-court tennis facility. Ten racquetball courts were added in 1978, David said, and all but three were removed to add a 12,000-square-foot fitness center in 1985, when he started working full-time for the family business.

This was not the Morins' only fitness location. After managing two tennis clubs in Warwick and East Providence in the late 1960s, Maurice approached owners about having more responsibility as the company expanded to Johnston. When he was told no, he went into business for himself, David said.

First came a four-court facility in Bellingham, Mass., in the early 1970s. Then came Fore Court, and then an eight-court facility on Court Drive in Lincoln. The Lincoln site, off of Albion Road, closed in 1987.

But the Cumberland location continues to thrive, David said, mostly because of the company's flexibility in adapting to new fitness trends and needs of members, who range in age from 3 to 91, and are split about 50-50 between tennis players and fitness center users.

"We've diversified as the trends come along," David said, noting that group exercise is currently experiencing a "boom."

To keep up, Fore Court offers 52 classes a week, including Zumba, yoga and spinning. Instructors use Les Mills group fitness and training programs to ensure classes and teaching style are kept consistent.

The fitness center also includes free weights, more than 60 pieces of cardio equipment, and personal training or small group training services.

While one of seven indoor tennis facilities in Rhode Island, it is the only one that also offers a fitness center and racquetball courts, David said.

Babysitting services are also available, and the club holds a beer and wine license.

"We encourage people to hang around afterwards," David said, as it fosters a community atmosphere.

The club is active in supporting the community by hosting fundraisers and events, he said, like Cumberland High School post-graduation celebrations and Susan G. Komen Ride for a Cure. On Jan. 25, ForeCourt will host a fundraising event in memory of Gerard Laboissonniere, a "friend of the club" who died in September.

Both David and Brian credit the community support with being able to stay in business for four decades.

"It feels great to be here after 40 years," David said, "and it's with the support of the community that we've been able to do that."

Brian said hitting the milestone has made him feel accomplished and lucky to work in a field that is "rewarding on a daily basis."

He said the success is all thanks to the members. "We're in the business of making friends," he said.

An event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the club will be held in November, David said, but details have yet to be announced.

Call 401-333-4480.