Pickleball nationals a smash success in Kelowna

More than 400 competitors from 16 states and two provinces came to the city for the 2016 Picklenball Canada National Tournament.

  • Thu Jul 14th, 2016 5:00pm
  • Sports

Kelowna's Mike and Laura Schwarz in action during the 2016 Pickleball Canada National Tourament at the Parkinson courts.

Pickleball is alive, well and thriving in Kelowna.

More than 440 competitors from across North America converged at the Parkinson Rec Centre Courts last weekend for the 2016 Pickleball Canada National Tournament.

Despite bouts of rain and wind, the three-day event was played in its entirety, with entrants from six provinces and 16 U.S. states competing.

Twenty-seven members of the host club, Pickleball Kelowna, took home medals from the competition.

The unofficial ‘Pickleball Capital of Canada’, Kelowna hosted the tournament for the second year in a row and is already making plans for the 2017 national championship next July.

Pickleball Kelowna president Bryan Jackson said many of the competitors from out of town said they “can’t wait to register for next year.”

Jackson said the success of the 2016 event was due largely to the work of volunteers and the support of many sponsors and businesses, including feature sponsor Manta World Sports.

In addition, Pickleball Kelowna raised money for charity and will be presenting a $1,250 cheque to the Parkinson Society.

The City of Kelowna supported the staging of the event, as Mayor Colin Basran helped officiate the opening ceremony, while city councillors Maxine Dehart and Tracy Gray were on hand for the medal presentations.

Pickleball Kelowna is the largest outdoor pickleball club in Canada.