Letter: Kelowna prefers ultimate frisbee over pickleball at Rutland park

February 2015 the city [decided the park would] include a soccer field, basketball court instead of pickleball courts, and ultimate frisbee.

To the editor:

Re: First phase of work complete at Kelowna’s Rutland Centennial Park, (June 29)

A small inclusive playground for kids recently opened at Rutland Centennial Park. The City of Kelowna bought the 2.5-hectare park from the Rutland Park Society in February 2015.

Phase one of the park includes a soccer field, but it will not be ready this summer because it was started from seed.

If this park was located in the Mission or Glenmore area, would seed have been planted, if there was only one field to prepare?

A needs assessment was completed in 2010 and concluded the provision of multi-use fields should be the city’s top priority. From the assessment:

“Due to the fact artificial turf can accommodate extended playing hours, the report identifies that one artificial turf field is the equivalent of four turf grass fields.”

The RPS board had asked the city for artificial turf so the soccer field would be useful for a longer season. They also asked for lights, and were told both were too expensive.

In 2014 there were three options for the park presented by city planners to the RPS board, membership and public. Most people chose option no. 2.

But by February 2015 the city scrapped the three options and announced the master plan would be a combination of options no. 1 and no. 2, which includes a soccer field, basketball court (with lights) instead of pickleball courts, and an area designated for—wait for it—ultimate frisbee.

There are already basketball courts just a few minutes walk from the park at Rutland Secondary School that are rarely used.

I wonder which would be less expensive to install—one basketball court (with lights) or four pickleball courts (without lights)?

Although the Kelowna pickleball community prefers a centralized multi-court facility (16 to 24 courts) from a league and social perspective, it is not against the idea of having four designated pickleball courts (without lights) at the park to take the pressure off their existing facility at Parkinson Rec. Centre, as the timeframe for this large facility could be a number of years away.

This weekend (July 8-10), 440 competitors from across North America will converge on the Parkinson Rec. Centre courts for the Pickleball Canada National Tournament.

David Buckna, Kelowna