A new player has joined the game just as work is about to begin on a new pickleball facility.
The Vernon Pickleball Club expects to break ground in two to three weeks on a 12-court facility in Marshall Field.
”Our plan is to have the course usable for the 55+ Games (in September),” said Don Friesen, pickleball courts co-chair for the VPC.
To help them reach that goal, Okanagan Wealth Advisors/HollisWealth has signed on as a lead corporate sponsor for the facility.
“Supporting activity makes a lot of sense,” said Trevor Perepolkin, founder of Okanagan Wealth Advisors (an affiliate of HollisWealth). “The economic impact is certainly something we think about too.”
The five-year deal was announced at the club’s AGM Thursday night.
“They were really thrilled,” said Perepolkin, who shared some of the other initiatives he has led such as the Tragically Hip final concert streaming. With the popularity of pickleball taking off, Perepolkin said it was an easy decision to support and help the community with.
Although the sport has created some issues around noise and tennis court usage, the new facility and its location should help alleviate that.
Trying out the sport first-hand recently also impacted Perepolkin’s decision, after going to Arizona with his father this winter.
“That was kind of the icing on the cake for me, seeing and playing it,” he said of the sport he describes as halfway between ping pong and tennis.
The sponsorship will allow the club to finalize the needs for the courts with items such as benches, shading, tables and chairs, maintenance, materials and supplies.
“Whatever’s left will go towards the building we hope to construct,” said Friesen.
But the process so far has run into some challenges.
“All of the main services are located in that field,” said Friesen of water and underground hydro that the club must first move. “It certainly slows us down by at least four to six weeks.”
Aside from this new sponsorship, the club is funding the facility and has a $300,000 grant from the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.