Travel

Pickleball in Paradise ? Maui 2015

 

039Pickleball in Paradise ? Maui 2015
We are avid pickleball players from Winnipeg, Manitoba who recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Maui.  Our holiday was made even better by the kindness of Chuck Lefaive of the B.C. Pickleball Association.  He was able to connect us with Dave Wagner, a resident of the beautiful Wailea Point Condominiums in Waliea, who was our gracious host during a morning of pickleball on the most beautiful courts you will find anywhere.

Wailea Point is located just south of the town of Kihei.  To say that the courts of this condo complex are beautiful is an understatement.  The courts are surrounded by swaying palm trees, hibiscus shrubs and colourful foliage. Tropical birds are singing in the background.  We have never played in such  peaceful and beautiful surroundings.  Usually we are clearing leaves off the courts but at Wailea Point, you must first remove the Hibiscus flowers that have blown onto the court.  Paradise found!!!

Dave Wagner proved to be a wonderful host, arriving in his golf cart, with coolers full of ice and water.  He and his partner, Tim are excellent players, even though they admitted to not playing very often.  We were also joined by Dave?s nephew and his friend who were visiting the island from Pennsylvania.  The games were very enjoyable, even though Dave and his group really showed us what the game was all about.  Excellent competition and great sportsmanship!!!

Unfortunately, the island of Maui has not yet caught the pickleball fever so public courts do not exist.  But if you are traveling to the Island and are lucky enough to be a guest of Dave?s, you will have a great memory of pickleball in paradise.

Our sincere thanks to Chuck on helping us find this beautiful location.

Kim & Don Michalski
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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BC PICKLEBALL GOES TO SNOWBIRD LAND

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A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO PICKLEBALL FROM CANADIANS IN THE USA

Recently, Rita and I took a holiday in the sun to celebrate her ” celebration of life ” after surviving a health issue for the past 18 months. Palm Springs as host of Lee Chadwick was the first stop for one week  where we found that by clicking on Palm Springs – pickleball on their website a whole list of places to play popped up even with an instructor –  listed for people to access. . Second we discovered Freedom Park , a lovely public facility in Palm Desert , next door to Ronald Reagan elementary school , which was in the process of being painted over with eight designated pickleball courts on two under-utilized  tennis courts ,-  .colours were beige on the outside and a strong blue on the courts themselves – see pix above.

This park was to host the California seniors games in the near future.  Pix of the courts being painted  and the final product are available  above. In addition we also helped teach new players at the first quieter pickleball program in the USA located next to the casino in Indio Cal.  We attended the tournament of two retirement centers next to the casino in Indio – 44 players ( max ) on four courts  run by a Canadian Doug Jouce. . Finally, in Palm Springs we visited the bankrupt Sonny Bonno tennis club which has been unused for ten years with 7 tennis courts and a restaurant – club house which could convert to 28 pickleball courts and a destination – tournament place for a group with deep pockets. We look forward to this happening on next visit. The Palm springs  People could make money on this facility just with the Canadians going to Palm springs and neighbouring communities.

Finally , in Palm springs itself we found the best deal in California. Every Thursday , all day, the seniors line up at  senior center which is located in a lovely park which seems under-utilized, and they collect all the vegetables they can handle in shopping bags – probably enough to last the whole week. The farmers donate the produce and the seniors are thankful . A discussion occurred with the Assistant manager so that parks and Rec. Palm Springs could get on board and let the seniors who come for treats, also multitask and play some pickleball on new courts to be built in the park. There are no adjacent residential buildings, and the park is underused.

Our second stop was in Tucson for a super-bowl party with family. While there, we had the opportunity to take in the opening day of the Tucson quarterhorse racetrack . Also we visited the lovely Rincon Retirement enclave with eight pickleball courts and we were warmly received by Bert Coates Vice Pres. of the pickleball program and enjoyed a lovely ” happy hour with him and his friends.  One was an MD from Salmon Arm BC . After a short visit to Tucson and a spectacular Superbowl that people are still theorizing about, we arrived in Las Cruses  New Mexico as guests of fellow White Rockians and  picklers – The Orpens. There we briefly connected with a couple  from Edmonton who were running the pickleball program out of a Sr. Center in a large baseball facility. Our hosts , the Orpens were super gracious and we enjoyed golfing with them in the higher elevations of Las Cruses NM .

Our third stop was at Sun lakes AZ after returning for a couple of days to take in the Gem Show of Tucson – the largest gem exhibition in the world. Kathy Thomas a former pickler and website manager of Bcpickleball.com was our host and showed us some sites in her area for possible rental next year.  We then proceeded to the Mesa Airport and collected our next hosts – the Stanleys from Trail, old friends and founding members of the Trail pickleball program.  We thank them for their wonderful hospitality at Trilogy at Vistanzia in Glendale Az –  the home of the Superbowl.  It was with delight that we played with them a little pickleball and viewed the lovely new four dedicated courts in one of the most written up retirement place in the USA. Their weekly pickleball outdoor program is well organized and we will try to emulate it with some changes for the 26 courts projected for South Surrey Rec., 2 more than Casa Grande home of the USAPA National next year.

Finally, because Alaska airlines wanted $ 700.00 to drop off our car in Glendale, we drove to Palm springs and saved  U.S $ 600.00 . We left the Palm Springs Airport four hours before President Obama Arrived with Michelle – no kids for their annual pilgrimage to Palm Springs for Valentines Day .

What a nice holiday in the sun…………

Best,
Chuck Lefaive

BC Pickleball goes to Turkey

BC Pickleball goes to Turkey

A Beginning

Rome was not built in a day, nor will Turkey have places – to  -play in their country overnight. However a start has occurred, thanks to the enthusiasm of one family, and support from BC Pickleball . As you know , Turkey has long been a favourite destination for Canadians for tours and to see the ancient and holy places of Christiandom as well as Muslim holy places. The first time I stepped foot into a mosque was in Turkey. One of the thrills of our tour was to go walking ( open air ) on the main street in Istanbul, ( the largest city in Europe) with thousands of young people walking together, 20 deep, for miles on a Saturday night. Amazing !

Well, back to Pickleball ! From the humble beginnings of two clay courts – on a unique surface called a “threshing area” where hazelnuts are dried as well as other products, sometimes covered over by a  nylon – type material like the ginseng farms here, the surface gets hard over time and can be line-marked with lime or similar substance . These “drying places” are found in all the little villages and some larger towns (in the mayor’s residence or plaza). Hence, we now have  a vision for recreational play, and in the larger centres more competitive agendas can occur indoors .

The vision forming is of a centre in a larger town with four courts, like Samsun , donated paddles, of different components like, wood to start – similar to the beginnings of Pickleball 50 years ago in the USA and progressing to aluminum, graphite, soft and quiet Apikes, etc . With practice, they will then select which they wish to have in their programs. With staggered times, this Samsun location in North Turkey near the Black Sea, could easily accommodate 100 players. Those players from Canada have brought balls,( Jugs  and Dura outdoor balls) for trial there. Some of their wood paddles are handmade using dillers and swingers as prototypes. The possibility of engaging some tennis players is there , and we look forward  to a tie-in to travel agencies who do tours in turkey , to stop in Samsun and try Pickleball.

It is with pleasure that we welcome Turkey as friends of BC Pickleball Association joining a growing list of international countries who find Pickleball a wonderful fun,fun,fun, sport to play and enjoy as a family . It is truly a game for all !

Yours in sport and health,
Chuck Lefaive
Founding Director
British Columbia Pickleball Association
www.bcpickleball.com
ph – 604-536-9602

PS: When this program gets a little more mature, I hope we will get some photos for you and for our travel section of www.Bcpickleball.Com.

Pickleball in Paradise – Maui 2015

Pickleball in Paradise – Maui 2015

We are avid pickleball players from Winnipeg, Manitoba who recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Maui. Our holiday was made even better by the kindness of Chuck Lefaive of the B.C. Pickleball Association. He was able to connect us with Dave Wagner, a resident of the beautiful Wailea Point Condominiums in Waliea, who was our gracious host during a morning of pickleball on the most beautiful courts you will find anywhere.

Wailea Point is located just south of the town of Kihei. To say that the courts of this condo complex are beautiful is an understatement. The courts are surrounded by swaying palm trees, hibiscus shrubs and colourful foliage. Tropical birds are singing in the background. We have never played in such peaceful and beautiful surroundings. Usually we are clearing leaves off the courts but at Wailea Point, you must first remove the Hibiscus flowers that have blown onto the court. Paradise found!!!

Dave Wagner proved to be a wonderful host, arriving in his golf cart, with coolers full of ice and water. He and his partner, Tim are excellent players, even though they admitted to not playing very often. We were also joined by Dave’s nephew and his friend who were visiting the island from Pennsylvania. The games were very enjoyable, even though Dave and his group really showed us what the game was all about. Excellent competition and great sportsmanship!!!

Unfortunately, the island of Maui has not yet caught the pickleball fever so public courts do not exist. But if you are travelling to the Island and are lucky enough to be a guest of Dave’s, you will have a great memory of pickleball in paradise.

Our sincere thanks to Chuck on helping us find this beautiful location.

 

Kim & Don Michalski

Winnipeg, Manitoba

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BC Pickleball Goes To Hawaii

BC Pickleball Goes To Hawaii
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Co- authored by Aki Takeda of Coal Harbour Rec. – Vancouver
Mele Kamikamaka ( Merry Xmas From Hawaii ) To All

The pictures depicted show a casual group having fun each day on the newly marked courts
on the military base adjacent to most of the main hotels in Waikiki.  See list on www.bcpickleball.com of adjacent hotels.  We thank those who took this initiative to provide free courts dedicated to Pickleball , as we have many who travel to this area and would love to play a short game especially if it is hot. I loved the pix of the chap in the thongs….. Not the best of shoe-ware, but in Hawaii, why not !

Waikiki is the most frequently travelled to destination but Maui is a close second.
There , nestled amongst the Wailea hotels is a location that contains the most beautiful courts ( outdoor with orchids on the fence ) I have ever seen. The location is Wailea Point Estates next to the Renaissance hotel.  It is a private settlement of high end condos 5-10 million dollars,  and can be accessed by emailing in advance  .  His whole family plays well and come from Seattle . He is a 5.0 player . The facility has a controlled entry and beachfront access.

In addition, I have heard that the main road in Maui that has tennis courts , and also has some Pickleball courts open to the public.

Dave Wagner did an article on www.pickleballcanada.org – on Wailea point estates in 2010
with pictures, inviting BC’ers to come and play.  He and his sister also own the town of Telegraph Cove , near Campbell River, a fishing destination with high end ” fishing homes ”
which,  if he could have solved the noise issue with Pickleball, would have had courts years ago.

We welcome Hawaii , as friends of BC Pickleball joining a growing list of international locations starting Pickleball, with a little help from this end.

( see the article on BC Pickleball goes to Turkey in this month’s postings.)
Mele Kalikimaka

Chuck Lefaive
Founding Director
bcpickleball.com
ph- 604-536-9602

 

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Pickleball goes to Whistler

PICKLEBALL GOES TO WHISTLER

20140501_112705ALL ARE WELCOME TO PLAY ON THE OUTDOOR FREE PUBLIC COURT CHEAKAMUS ( FIRST EXIT ) AS YOU COME INTO WHISTLER

   Dear members,

      This past week, April 30 to May 1st- 2014, after  eight months of medical appointments, Rita and I decided to take a holiday to Whistler – which was predicted to have temperatures in the 80’s for the next couple of days. Only the upper reaches were functional as the snow was dissipating.

       We opted for some driving range activity, ( golfing not being open for another week ) and some trail hiking as well as just bumming around the village taking in the ambiance and the huge number of young people there. On a lark, we called into the Whistler Tennis/Racquet Club – five outdoor as well as three indoor courts and more to come. They also have a court with stands and lights. As luck would have it, they were just talking about introducing Pickleball as a new income stream both indoor,  and outdoor. By appointment,the next day, we did a demo with two pros , and answered many questions about the sport in BC . As a result, they are on board to work out a plan with BC Pickleball to introduce the sport at this destination place – with attention to noise abatement – as adjoining hotels might object if the sport presented a noisy front.

   The red foam ball and noisier small red tennis balls were tried ( we call them foam Pickleball balls ) and discussed as well  the softer, quieter, Apike paddles, the list of ” too noisy traditional paddles ” from the USA to be published here soon . Other noise abatement strategies were also discussed including the recommendation from Surrey  that all paddles be welcome for indoor play.

   While there , we called on the Rec. Centre and elementary schools and high school who may also wish to introduce this kid and adult friendly sport. The Sports Centre is to look at introducing Pickleball to their squash court using a half size Sportime portable set. This would introduce a hybrid game using the back and side walls( like paddle ball).)

    Last but not least, as with the Richmond Golf Club , the Whistler Golf Club could look at at an introduction in the village itself, at its driving range,providing at the same time a new income stream for golf. So the benefits for Whistler Parks and Rec.,  as well as tennis, golf, the Sports Complex , the training centre at Cheakamus and schools point to a win win situation for all, including all the young people who come here from all over the world. This will be one more step  forward for the provincial goal of making our bc population 20% more fit by 2020.

   We at BC Pickleball wish them well and are willing to help in any way we can. Please let us know if you go to Whistler and would like lessons from the pros at the tennis club, or have taken advantage of the free court shown above.

    Thanks to Rarks and Rec. Whistler for the new court !

  YOURS IN SPORT AND HEALTH,

  CHUCK lEFAIVE

  FOUNDING DIRECTOR

  WWW.BCPICKLEBALL.COM

Ole ! is heard in Mexico

Ole !   is heard in Mexico

 

In more ways than one …….

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In Pickleball, a ball that is above your waist, while in transit, while you are standing near the sideline or the baseline is referred to as an Ole ! You turn and walk away , knowing that it will go out  SHOUTING OLE.  I see many players hitting balls with forehand, backhand or half volley at the baseline when the ball is going out. Why take a chance by hitting the ball when you know the other Ole approach is a sure point .

 

In Rancho Casa Blanca, Canto Del Sol, Costa Del Ore in Margueritas and El Cid near Mazatland there are three taped and one painted court. From November – march there are tournaments in Puerto Vallarta , lo de Marion and Ricon de guayagitos featuring players from Alberta, BC and Quebec and no doubt some from the southern US states. San Jose Del Cabo also has outdoor programs.

See pix above of one group of Canadians . So, it would appear that these groups , friends of BC pickleball , are providing a southern push in  a large new country to input our sport in a positive, inclusive way, welcoming all players to our sport in a friendly manner while they get a smooth tan.

With Canada providing huge impetus from the North with Snowbirds in the Summer and Locals in the winter, our numbers,in the Rec centers who depend on us to provide new players, and instruction to many , are staying to all intense and purposes – the same all year. This is not the case in the US south where heat shuts the sport down in the summer and it is cool in winter in many states . They also do not have many indoor facilities with pickleball in the north or south. BC is the largest public program in the world.

Hence we can see that in both countries , the transfer from 8000 schools that teach the sport to the parks and Rec run outdoor and indoor facilities has not occurred . Much more work needs to be done by the teachers, the parks and Rec representatives to make venues outdoor more welcoming, and to make indoor venues more open to times for all players and families of different skill sets to play ( as well as to play with each other )

A Further layer to this presentation is that, worldwide, we are seeing many more countries

getting involved with pickleball – China, Japan, Hungary, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, UK , India, Pakistan, Cuba and Jamaica. Many of these have been helped by www.bcpickleball.com to get started.

So, remember, the next time you hear the word OLE , think of how you can get a sure point in Pickleball.

If you know or any other places in Mexico that play pickleball, let us know.

Yours in Sport and health,

Chuck Lefaive