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

Glenrosa residents asked to secure garbage

WildSafeB.C. issues warning about bears

UPDATE: Car engulfed in flames in Winfield

Firefighters were able to extinguish the burning car quickly

Kelowna boat retailers worry about tit-for-tat tariffs by U.S. and Canada

A 10 per cent tariff on new boats coming into Canada is prompting big cuts to boat orders

Used needle falls from sky in Vernon

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Lake Country Parents disturbed by song lyrics

The name of the song by a local musician is ‘Amber Alert’

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

Unfiltered: IPAs explained with Cannery Brewing brewmaster

Checking out the new IPA created by Penticton brewery Cannery Brewing Company

Man gets 2 years in prison for assault on Okanagan Correctional officer

Union rep said inmate sucker punched correctional officer, continued assault after officer fell

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

Most Read