Pickleball plans

Resident makes the case for more sports facilities in Vernon

I heard over the radio June 25 that Doug Ross, the city’s recreation director, announced Vernon’s official bid for the B.C. 55+ games. The other applicants being Kelowna and Penticton.

This is where I start my rant. Both Penticton and Kelowna have dedicated outdoor pickleball facilities and last year’s pickleball venue attracted more than 220 players when Langley hosted the Games.

Does Vernon propose they play on tennis courts, curling rinks or converted ice sheets?  As I read Armstrong’s consideration of dedicated courts at Memorial Park in The Morning Star, it baffles me nothing is heard from Vernon on its plans.

I then read on the front page of The Morning Star June 24 that the Vernon Economic Development Committee unveiled an Activate Life tag line encouraging Vernon residents to get active through sports and leisure.

The 200-plus registered pickleball players here in town are bewildered that we are playing on tennis courts, school gyms and curling rinks with our temporary portable nets that we purchased.

For those that did not know, there are two clubs in town, both at different locations with different time slots that rent tennis courts from Vernon parks and recreation at the cost of more than $7,000 annually.

The Vernon Pickleball Club (VPC), was charged $700 by parks and recreation to have the additional court lines painted at Middleton Mountain Park last year while the Greater Vernon Pickleball Association (GVPA) rented the curling rink and taped its own temporary lines this year.

As a first year member of GVPA, it makes me wonder why the hesitation or reluctance for dedicated courts?

I am sure Mr. Ross is aware of these issues and is working diligently to resolve this but in the mean time nothing is heard.

So in conclusion, it’s my understanding that the City of Vernon, with consultation with the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, has a long range plan (four to six years) to action this.

It sounds like too many fingers in the pie with no forward progress.  It would be nice to fast-track this before I have to switch to indoor carpet bowling or checkers.

Pat Broschart

Vernon