Don Friesen (left) and Rick Wadsworth (right) enjoy the first unofficial Pickleball game on the new asphalt. (Photo contributed)

Paving the way for pickleball in Vernon

Construction has begun for the pickleball courts but still needs donations.

The Vernon Pickleball Association is making progress on new courts at Marshall Field.

The excavation, backfill and top layer of crush were completed last week. Paving began earlier this week. The completion of the 12 court facility is set for July.

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in North America. It is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis.

Pat Andrews is the president of the Vernon Pickleball Association. She said that the sport came to Vernon from Mexico. While on vacation, a couple of Vernon locals tried the sport and decided to get a small group together back home. Six years later, the Vernon Pickleball Association has 358 members. Andrews said that it was this vast interest that spurred negotiations with the city.

This fall will mark two years since the initial proposal was pitched to the city. The agreement is that the courts will be owned by the city but the VPA is building and leasing it.

“The reason we did that was to get it done sooner rather than later,” said Andrews.

Prior to this, pickleball was being played on tennis courts and because of space and time constraints, the group said they often had to turn people away.

“This will be the first site in Vernon that is dedicated courts,” said Don Friesen, who was integral in both proposal and construction phases. “We’ve been fighting for time to get places to play and time to play and the volume is huge. It’s expected that by end of 2018 there will 8 million players in U.S. and Canada.”

In the past month, VPA members and other donors have contributed $70,000 to help fund the completion of the courts. However, they are still in need of financial support in the form of donations to pay for the surround and interior fencing, permanent nets and acrylic top coat.

The 12 dedicated pickleball courts will be maintained by the V.P.A. in a five-year lease agreement with the City of Vernon, with scheduled V.P.A. play times and public access times.

A fundraiser day will be announced soon.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.

>


@BrieChar
brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Phil Rutter (left) and Rick Wadsworth (right) are all long-time members of the Vernon Pickleball Association and have been instrumental in getting the courts built from conception and planning to digging and construction. (Photo contributed)

Just Posted

Car crash on hwy 97 closes lanes

Officers are directing traffic around the incident that closed lanes heading toward Armstrong.

Yellow Vest movement rallied in Vernon Saturday

Protesters took to the steps of the Vernon courthouse Saturday.

Nature’s Fare Markets has recertified as a B Corp for third time

This B.C. family-owned company is being recognized for their commitment to sustainability.

Japanese Women’s Auxiliary supports Light A Bulb campaign

This gift is the Auxiliary’s 16th donation since 1995.

Vernon RCMP take more fentanyl off street

Two Vernon men arrested after home searched and drug trafficking paraphernalia found

Yellow Vest movement rallied in Vernon Saturday

Protesters took to the steps of the Vernon courthouse Saturday.

White: Don’t be a Scrooge like me

It gets to the point where you simply can’t avoid Christmas no matter how hard you try.

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

VIDEO: Craft growers will add to recreational market, cannabis producer says

Two B.C. men say their expertise in running small legal medical grow-ops a benefit to recreational market

Christmas wish for Mirielle: love and carpets

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Vegan chocolatiers set up shop in Penticton

Celine Nativel and David Mullner, of Maison Mulnati French Vegan Chocolates, discuss their craft

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Risk of catching the flu increasing in B.C. this holiday season: BCCDC

Dr. Danuta Skowronski with the BC Centre for Disease Control says influenza will pick up during the holidays

Most Read