Council to examine pickleball schedule

The Summerland Pickleball Club has more than 100 members

Because of the growing level of interest in pickleball, Summerland’s Parks and Recreation Commission will consider options for the use of newly created courts at Peach Orchard Campground.

Pickleball is a racquet sport, played on a court similar to a tennis court.

The municipality maintains two tennis courts at Powell Beach and two pickleball courts and one pickleball/tennis court at the Peach Orchard Campground.

In past years, there was no charge for these courts, since the only formal booking was a tennis tournament, twice a year.

However, this year, because of the growing popularity of pickleball, municipal staff created a schedule and posted signage at the courts.

The Summerland Pickleball Club, with more than 100 members, was given exclusive use of the courts Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and Friday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m.

But others in the community are not satisfied with this schedule.

Speaking to council on Monday evening, Dianne Calhoun said the courts should be open to any member of the public and should not be for one group exclusively.

She said the courts are on public lands, paid for by public taxes.

Jean Fishenden also questioned the schedule, since the pickleball club has been granted use of the courts during the most desirable hours.

“Who wants to play in the heat of the day?” she asked.

Coun. Toni Boot said the game is fun to play, but added that there are concerns about a public facility booked for a single group for 17 hours a week.

Coun. Erin Carlson suggested the club be given use of the courts two mornings and one evening a week, in order to allow others to play.

The club will be granted this amount of playing time, with the schedule to be determined by municipal staff.