Thursday, July 07, 2016

Pickleball gets a home

by Kate Bouey - CASTANET Jul 7, 2016 / 2:39 pm
Marshall Field has been tentatively chosen as the home of pickleball for Greater Vernon. Due to a lack of flat park space, the busy sports area appears to be one of the few options available, according to Keith Pinkoski, parks planner with the North Okanagan Regional District. Marshall Field already has six soccer pitches, frisbee golf, four tennis courts, two baseball diamonds and a dog walking area. Pinkoski admitted to members of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee that adding pickleball courts would, at times, make it a tight squeeze in terms of parking. “On a busy Saturday in June, we would be deficient,” Pinkoski said, later stating the area could be “bursting at the seams.” The plan is to construct 12 pickleball courts right next to the Vantage One soccer centre, with a view to covering the courts with a roof – as money permits – so that they could be used year round.
The first stage of the plan would cost $620,000 although no money has been committed yet. The local pickleball club wants to contribute. “We want to take responsibility,” said Don Friesen, spokesperson for the players. He said $5,000 had been raised already within the club but the goal would be to raise $500,000 towards the total cost of the project which is estimated to be approximately $1.2 million. The age of the players locally ranged in age from nine to 90, said Friesen, with 350 club members and growing.

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