Jerry and Terri Draude from Penticton compete at the 55+ BC Games Pickleball competition at Parkinson Recreation Centre in Kelowna. The games brought over 4200 athletes to the Okanagan and concluded last week. (Photo: Mackenzie Britton - Capital News)

Okanagan pickleballers happy to play at 1st ever 55+ BC Games

Jerry and Terri Draude from Penticton put their skills to the test

Pickleball has been a massively growing sport in the Okanagan over the past 10 years.

The same is true for the sport in the 55+ BC Games, which concluded this past weekend in Kelowna.

At nearly 500 athletes, pickleball had one of the highest turnouts for the games, and the biggest in the history of the 55+ BC Games.

Two Okanagan pickleballers celebrated their first-ever games this year.

Jerry and Terri Draude, from Penticton, were happy to play close to home and weren’t surprised by the big turnout.

“Pickleball has been growing by leaps and bounds, this turnout does not surprise me,” said Terri, who entered in the pickleball doubles competition at Parkinson Recreation Centre.

“The games are a great opportunity to meet other players and to see what the sport means in other communities across B.C.,”

READ MORE: Kelowna Rockets GM anxious for season’s start

READ MORE: Okanagan table tennis players thrive at 55+ games

David Graham, the 55+ BC Games president, said Kelowna was well-suited to host the large amount of pickleballers due to the surplus of outdoor courts, something not all communities have.

“The sports been growing and has been hugely popular in Kelowna,” said Graham.

“It reminds me of racketball in the ’80s; it grows and next thing you know, it’s everywhere.

“It can be indoor, outdoor and modified from tennis courts. That’s the beauty of pickleball.”

There were great turnouts in hockey, track and field and dragon boating throughout the games, but the pickleball crowd brought out plenty of avid fans to watch the spectacle and cheer during the championships.

With the success of Kelowna’s first hosting of the 55+ BC Games and the large pickleball turnout, the sport’s popularity shows no signs yet of slowing down.

“The games bring more exposure, it brings more encouragement and motivation and trying to excel at the sport,” said Draude.

“It’s also a lot of fun.”

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

ALC prohibits land exemption status for three Westbank school sites

The decision means a new secondary school won’t be built along Webber Road

West Kelowna gets more firefighting power

10 new recruits have officially been placed on the city’s roster

Kelowna pot shop looks to the future on Canada’s first cannibersary

Kelowna’s Hobo Recreational Cannabis store has been in operation since July 25, 2019

Movie extras wanted for Kelowna film production

A street hockey scene needs drop-in extras outside of the Kelowna Gospel Mission

Transportation costs jump by more than $1M for Central Okanagan School District

The school district expects to spend $4.68 million on school buses this year

YouTube video of Revelstoke grizzly bear goes viral

Why did the grizzly bear cross the railway tracks?

One year later: Vernon pot stores look back at legalization

Edibles made legal on first anniversary of recreational cannabis

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Great Vernon Pumpkin Race to star in South Korean documentary

Pumpkin Classic event to kick off this weekend with gourd weigh-ins

VIDEO: Meet your Kelowna-Lake Country candidates

All seven Kelowna-Lake Country candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

VIDEO: Meet your Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Salmon Arm arena told to upgrade ice chilling system in 2020 or face closure

Fatal ammonia leak in Fernie prompts Technical Safety BC to order 20-year-old chillers replacement

Most Read