Pitch made for pickleball

A relatively new player in the field of sports could bring its game to Coldstream.

The Vernon Pickleball Club hopes to pick up some playing space at the Middleton Mountain Park tennis courts.

“We notice that the tennis courts aren’t used very often and pickleball could help fill the space,” said Brian Burgess, club member.

The club is not proposing to take over the tennis courts, but to have pickleball lines painted on the court so it can also accommodate the growing new sport.

“We don’t want to be in conflict with tennis players,” said Burgess, who anticipates organized club sessions two to three mornings per week for two to three hours and two evenings per week.

“We bring our own nets, put them up and take them down.”

Currently, the only outdoor pickleball court is in Sawicki Park, but it has a deteriorating surface. In the winter, the sport is played indoors at Pleasant Valley Gym.

“It’s one of the fastest growing games in North America,” said Burgess.

The local club, which started in September 2013, has 176 members and counting.

“We’re growing by leaps and bounds.”

Last year, 18 Vernon players competed in the B.C. Senior Games and returned with 22 medals, including Burgess and his wife, who earned gold in their category.

“It (pickleball) is keeping the seniors off the streets and out of trouble and it’s keeping them active,” laughed Burgess.

The District of Coldstream is going to investigate the costs of painting pickleball lines on the tennis courts at Middleton Mountain and the installation of a portable toilet.

The local club has offered to assist in the costs, or paint the lines itself, but the district advises against that route.

Coun. Peter McClean is also a fan of pickleball, and has his own court lines painted on his driveway.

But, he says: “I’d recommend getting a professional to paint the lines.”


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