Pickleball Kelowna Action at the Pickleball Canada National Tournament begins Friday at 8 a.m.

Spots at pickleball nationals in high demand

Kelowna is playing host to the Pickleball Canada National Tournament this weekend at Parkinson Rec

Within 48 hours of registration opening up in early March, there were 730 names on the list looking to gain entry into the 2018 Pickleball Canada National Tournament.

With only 430 spots available for the three-day event this weekend in Kelowna, it’s evident the popularity of pickleball continues to grow.

Featuring competitors from across Canada and parts of the U.S., Pickleball Kelowna is playing host to the national championship tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

The tournament will again be once staged on 12 dedicated pickleball courts and another 16 temporary courts at the Parkinson Recreation Centre.

With Pickleball Canada’s mandate to expand the game across the country, Wayne Pierce of Pickleball Kelowna expects the governing body will choose a new location for the 2019 nationals.

That doesn’t mean Kelowna won’t continue to pursue national events down the road, but Pierce says any future bids would be greatly aided by a new, dedicated pickleball facility.

“Our membership is growing every year, we’re at the point where we need more space, a dedicated pickleball facility if we’re going to keep up with other cities and the expansion they’re undergoing,” said Pierce.

“One of the reasons we host this is to try put money in the bank and show the city we’re serious about a dedicated facility,” said Pierce. “The city has been good to us, we just want to be in a position show them we are ready to move forward.”

Pierce said regardless of when the nationals return to the city, Pickleball Kelowna will continue to host an annual tournament, perhaps under the title Kelowna Open.

The unofficial Pickleball capital of Canada, Pickleball Kelowna has now surpassed 400 members and continues to grow.

A sport now played by people all ages, Pickleball is gaining ground all across Canada, but is even more popular in the U.S. where more than 2.8 million people play the game.

Among the top players competing this weekend in Kelowna are Americans Tyler Loong and Adam Stone. Canadians Mark Renneson and Marco Jankowiak will be joined on the open draw by local favourite Jordan Renwick, one of about 80 Kelowna athletes entered in the tournament.

Singles, doubles and mixed action will take place in the following divisions: 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, Open and Senior Open (50+).

The tournament kicks off Friday morning at the Parkinson Rec Centre with the opening ceremony at 8 a.m.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@capnewsports

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Flicked cigarette butt sparks small fire

The cigarette would have added fuel to the fire if it wasn’t for good samaritans

Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire grows to 340 hectares

BC Wildfire is on scene of what is being called the Good Creek blaze

Highway 97 closed again due to wildfire

Highway 97 between Peachland and Summerland is being shut down due to wildfires

Update: Wildfire near Peachland doubles in size to 1,000 hectares

Peachland - Evacuation orders have been issued for Brent Road and Highway 97 South properties

Update: Wildfire near Peachland doubles in size to 1,000 hectares

Peachland - Evacuation orders have been issued for Brent Road and Highway 97 South properties

BC Games: Opening Ceremony from Laketown Ranch

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

On the street: Kelowna reacts to 2018 wildfires

BC Wildfire is working with local departments to battle multiple blazes near Kelowna.

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Update: Size of large fire near Keremeos unknown

Two significant fires are burning in the Lower Similkameen, smoke can be seen as far away as Osoyoos

Penticton bans open burning

Temporary fire ban takes effect noon Friday

Man shot dead in Oliver home

RCMP major crime unit investigating after 58-year-old man was shot and killed

Syrian refugees fear for lives at home

Former head of Salmon Arm Refugee Coalition says Canada should be doing more

Most Read