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

Compassion conference comes to Vernon

The Venerable Guan Cheng will be presenting at the Schubert Center on Monday, June 17

Possible water restrictions in Vernon

RDNO staff will be monitoring weather conditions, reservoir levels, and customer water demand on a weekly basis to assess whether higher water restrictions are necessary

Kal Crystal Waters Trail now open in Vernon

This new Vernon trail connects college with rail trail and offers a safer route for pedestrians, cyclists

Vernon students beat heat with bubble suits, giant waterslide

Clarence Fulton Secondary School students held their Hawaiian day celebration on June 12

VIDEO: Horseback riding helps North Okanagan residents with special needs

North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association needs more volunteers to continue offering sessions

Teen stabbed after end-of-night limo dispute in downtown Vancouver

A young man, 19, is in serious condition following a dispute between two groups

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Jury finds Kelowna man guilty of second-degree murder

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

UPDATE: Dog bitten by rattlesnake in West Kelowna “going to be OK”

The dog, Bella, is recovering after being bitten on a hike in West Kelowna

Most Read