Pickleball enthusiasts get four new courts on Westside

Mayor Doug Findlater cut the ribbon outside Lakeview Heights Community Hall Tuesday to officially open four new pickleball courts.

West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater cuts the ribbon to officially open four new pickleball courts outside of Lakeview Heights Community Hall. Several members of the Central Okanagan Pickleball Association were also on hand for the grand opening.

West Kelowna snowbirds will now be able to play a popular southern United States sport year-round.

Members of the Central Okanagan Pickleball Association were on hand Tuesday as Mayor Doug Findlater cut the ribbon to officially open four brand new pickleball courts outside Lakeview Heights Community Hall.

Pickleball is a racquet sport that is similar to tennis, but played on a court with smaller dimensions and with a slower-moving wiffle ball and hard paddle.

Jim Saunders is in the process of forming an official pickleball club on the Westside.

He said that in the past pickleball players had attempted to play their sport on tennis or badminton courts—something that wasn’t always welcomed by players of the other sports.

“There has been conflict in the past and that will be resolved with courts like these,” said Saunders.

“I could certainly see why tennis players could get upset: Pickleball is getting to be so popular, it’s starting to encroach on what they do. I think it’s really progressive of the District of West Kelowna to see that, identify the need and put the facility in place.”

Saunders said that currently the sport is enjoyed primarily by the gray-haired crowd.

“Right now it’s definitely most popular with those 50 and up, but it is going to be a young person’s sport after a while—the best player in the world is from Seattle, he’s 22.

“We have over 150 people playing pickleball in Kelowna and West Kelowna. By the end of the year, I think we’ll probably have 75 members on the Westside.”

Three of the new courts are inside of a dedicated pickleball playing surface, enclosed by a chain link fence. Adjacent to that is a multi-use facility, which has lines for one additional pickleball court.

“We heard that pickleball was a big interest, but there was still some interest in maintaining multi-use. That’s why you see this setup,” said the district’s recreation and culture supervisor, Annette Beaudreau.

Beaudreau said part of the reason behind creating the pickleball playing surfaces was also to reduce conflict between tennis players and pickleball enthusiasts.

“(Pickleball players) would try to double line a tennis court—it created some conflict and confusion for players because there were so many lines.”

Beaudreau added that the district created pickleball courts on a trial basis at the former Mount Boucherie practice tennis court area. The courts have been well used and were recently the site of a tournament that hosted players from across western Canada.

According to Findlater, the renovations for the pickleball courts and multi-use playing surface at Lakeview Heights Community Hall cost the district $95,000.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

Just Posted

Documentary series features local wineries and restaurants

Quest Out West Wild Food launches Jan. 18

West Kelowna looking at three per cent tax increase

Council grapples with 2018 budget, rejects addition of more cops, firefighters

Tech funding announced for Kelowna post-secondary institutions

UBCO and Okanagan College are getting funding to expand their tech programs

Arbitrated settlement for Kelowna jail guards

Details of arbitration settlement in contract dispute not released

Kelowna art exhibition showcases connection to environment

The opening of Blue Renew – art:debris is Jan. 18

The snow capped hills around Carr’s Landing

Andre Paris has posted another drone video showcasing Lake Country’s beauty

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

UPDATE: Highway reopened following fatal crash south of Armstrong

Highway 97A crash south of Pleasant Valley cross road near Spallumcheen claims a life

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Canadian junior captain returns to Rockets lineup

Dillon Dube will be back in Kelowna’s lineup Wednesday night after world juniors and bout of flu

Most Read