Pickleball on the move

Plans underway for permanent infrastructure for the growing sport

The 200-plus pickleball players in Vernon have formed a small committee to work with the city to create 12 permanent pickleball courts for public and club use.

The site that appears most favourable is the grassed area within the running track in Polson Park. Twelve courts would take up roughly 25 per cent of this area and still leave room for the running track and other events that get held there. Although a public review process for use of this site is required (expected to conclude March 2017), this site  has so many advantages over any other that  Vernon pickleball players are prepared to wait to create this a top quality facility in a showcase location.

The advantages are this central location would provide practical noon hour access to downtown workers so they could activate their lunch break, no residential areas are nearby to be negatively impacted and surrounding amenities in Polson Park (covered picnic tables, children’s playground area, washrooms, parking, snack shack building nearby, etc.) would all see enhanced traffic and use.

The shade trees and the fact the site is well protected from the wind further enhance its desirability for an outdoor pickleball facility. Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Penticton, and  Kamloops, all have dedicated facilities already, but  none of them have the showcase location Polson Park provides and this would be a huge competitive advantage in holding open tournaments throughout the summer, and attracting, like Funtastic, more tourism dollars into Greater Vernon.

Pickleball, continues to be the fastest growing sport in North America, with people of all ages. Children and teens are being introduced to the game through school programs, young adults and seniors  turned off by the high cost and time of other sports such as golf  are all looking at pickleball as something they can learn quickly, and be having fun with while getting exercise. They can spend as little as 15 minutes to complete one game or a few hours to play many games.  Equipment is inexpensive, and it is a very social game and a great way to make new friends.

Our committee is about to embark on a funding program for the anticipated facility to add to the funds available from the City of Vernon so a tournament and community-ready facility can be completed. While having a site confirmed would likely enhance the success of our funding drive, this will not deter us from proceeding on this front and in fact, preliminary discussions with potential donors are already taking place.

Greater Vernon citizens will benefit from this shared cost facility with ample public access. Club members will help co-ordinate playing schedules, tournaments, provide volunteers for teaching the game, donations of used racquets for people wanting to try the game, ongoing cooperation with the parks and recreation department to maintain the facility and grow the participation level in the game.

Lastly, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those who have allowed our Clubs to share the use of their tennis facilities (Middleton Mountain, Sawicki Park and MacDonald Park), at least until a permanent pickleball court facility is constructed. It should be noted that a lot of people besides those from our clubs are also using these facilities for pickleball. This is a  sure sign of how much fun the sport is, that it is gaining widespread popularity, and that it will be an economic and social boon.

Watch for the Pickleball Fun Day at Sawicki Millennium Park Aug. 29.

Don Friesen, vice-chairperson,

Greater Vernon Dedicated Courts Committee

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Clarence Fulton Secondary in Vernon reported its fourth exposure to the virus Thursday, Jan. 21, according to BC School Covid Tracker. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Three Vernon-area schools report positive COVID-19 cases

Two high schools and an elementary in Enderby report possible exposures

A dirty white Dodge Ram similiar to this one was reportedly stolen and then involved in a hit and run on Highway 97 in Lake Country Jan. 16. (Contributed)
Stolen truck that rammed car in Lake Country sought

Man in his 30s seen driving white Dodge Ram

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Emergency worker Tyler Morgan prepares to administer a COVID-19 test at the Juneau International Airport. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
New COVID-19 cases down 40% in Vernon area: BC CDC

BC Centre of Disease Control reports 59 new cases for local health area; Armstrong sees slight rise

Student binders await pick up in front of South Canoe Elementary school on Monday morning, Jan. 18, 2020. It was announced on Friday, Jan. 16, that the school would closed for up to two weeks after cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed among members of the school community. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Greater effort encouraged to help curb COVID-19 at North Okangan-Shuswap schools

North Okanagan Shuswap Teachers Association president says teachers reeling from recent exposures

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Voting is the number one, bare minimum way to have your voice heard by government. (File photo)
Jocelyn’s Jottings: Want to make change? Here are some suggestions

As a citizen you have a voice, you just have to know who to talk to

Hedley residents are advised to not drink the water until a pump in one of its wells is fixed. Photo Andrea DeMeer
Hedley residents under do-not-consume-water order due to arsenic levels

Residents in Hedley remain under a do-not-consume-water order, due to higher than… Continue reading

Scammers are luring people in with promises of online relationships, only to later extort money from their victims. (File photo)
Kelowna RCMP warn of ‘sextortion’ scams

RCMP say social media users should be cautious of unsolicited friend requests

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

City of West Kelowna mowing services have been moved in house, saving the city from a potential quarter-million dollar increase in costs. (Pixabay)
West Kelowna cuts mowing contract, saves over $200k

Since forming in 2007, the City of West Kelowna has been contracting out their mowing services

Copper Mountain Mine is Princeton’s largest employer, with approximately 460 workers. Spotlight file photo.
Princeton Copper Mountain Mine worker tests positive for COVID

Town’s largest employer stresses its commitment to safe practices

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

Most Read