TO ALL :
Well, now that the leaves have produced the lovely colours of fall in BC – it is time to turn our attention to “ winter pickleball”.
For some this will mean heading south to the warmer climes, as Rita and I will do in Palm Springs in November – December. Others will play indoors in multi –million dollar Recreation centers throughout the province who have welcomed pickleball for 12 years and make up a large part of the player group. There are over 300 programs in BC and 1000 in Canada. This is the largest Public program in the world . Recently, at Pintree Rec center in Coquitlam, they hosted the seniors games –55 + which entered 441 players, ranked and rated, who competed in all categories . The whole USA only recruited some 800 for their National . Pickleball in Canada has arrived.
With the above as background, Centennial park in White rock will attempt this winter to run all winter on four courts shared with tennis. We will We will see how many days we will be able to use the courts . October has not been too encouraging as we have had a record rain month. We will use mitts, touques and cravates if needed and report to parks and Rec at the end of the spring as to what ocurred and show parks and Rec how tough picklers really are. We do not anticipate too much competition for the other sport.
Recently , BC pickleball with the Vancouver parks board , introduced pickleball to Queen Elizabeth park on the hill above Nat Bailey stadium and Hillcrest Rec center where we have a successful program. There are four courts marked and shared with one tennis court- with a practice board adjacent. A lock box and portable sets are to arrive soon. This park has 22 tennis courts and oversees the city. In the month prior to ceasing play for the winter here, we provided several times more players than tennis on the other 21 courts . Some of them came to try pickleball. If all courts were marked and shared we would have 88 courts with 350 players playing and 350 waiting to play . This would be amazing to see! With this type of response, with such short notice and lack of equipment, perhaps the Board will consider giving us a couple more courts next year. eh ! The Vice president was at these courts and saw the discrepancy in the number of players so hopefully this will be reflected going forward. Trout Lake and Dunbar will be added next year. This type of enthusiasm for Pickleball is being seen in many parts of the province with long lineups indoor, and record sign-ups and big crowds outdoor.
This fall and winter will see many tournaments, both Recreational and Sanctioned being held throughout the province – don’t forget to let the Press know you are putting on a tournament and you may get some nice press. Have one of your own in your area and let us know how it turned out with a pix and we will be pleased to publish it on the website.