Since 2008 – at the inception of BCpickleball.com – duly registered and official for BC, Authorized to use the British Columbia name in correspondence etc, we have looked for people who have worked with us and who have grown the sport. These are people who have not looked for recognition but have steadily, week after week, year after year have stood the test of time and increased their numbers in their local area. It is important in all sports that these people be celebrated and that all members and players know what they have accomplished . Below are those now being recognized and those from the past who also are and will be recognized on our Thank You page as well as the welcome page this year. Why has Pickleball grown so fast in Canada ? These people have played a big part. They are our heroes.
- TERRI FOKKER – programmer at South Surrey Rec, who helped get more times for Pickleball in the largest program in Canada when other sports were attempting to buy all the times. She was also key in keeping the Surrey Rec centers Recreational in their tournaments and play and Surrey not allowing the tournament players to take over play or tourneys.
- Ms Dorita Gaspar – P/E instructor at Star of the Sea elementary school in Surrey , who 13 years ago decided to offer pickleball and not badminton to her students. She has facilitated many seniors to come into her school and teach her grades 4-7’s for all those years. This school is now rated 4th in BC academically and 1st in athletics.
- Carol Bissell – for her role in communication in the Comox , Courtenay, Parksville area over several year making this area, one of the biggest hubs for Pickleball in the province. She also played a strong role in administration and teaching as well as tournament play.
- Lorne Landry – For his role as coordinator, organizer at 100 mile house , l08 mile house , Lac la hache in developing new courts, and teaching a good sized play group with instructors.
- Frank Kika – For his organizational role and teaching in Williams Lake and Quesnel in the school system, outdoor play , and indoor facilities while injured himself. He is certified instructor.
- Ray Cumberworth – For his role in Growing a Church – led group to over 200 players – Peace Portal Alliance in Surrey and starting a second at Gracepoint with over 100 players He is a certified instructor and has helped in our school teaching outreach program.
- Aki Takeda – For his administrative role as Vice President of BC pickleball and hands on role of facilitator for Coal Harbour Rec as well as the Roundhouse Rec in Vancouver and many hours playing and setup work in almost all the 24 Rec centers in Vancouver, most of which BC pickleball started. He has also taught in our school outreach program.
- Valentina Paasonen – for outstanding teaching effort over many years in Abbotsford, Centennial Sr Center new Westminister, in Port Moody Rec, in Hillcrest Rec Vancouver and most recently in Edmunds Rec center in New Westminister as their chief instructor. She has also taught in our school outreach program.
- Brent Johner – For his early role in adopting our sport into his school and his rec center teaching program as well as his racquet network – the fifth largest in the world. He has also been a strong supporter of BC pickleball and hosted the first Canadian National Tournament. He has been instrumental in growing the sport in Calgary and Alberta. He also run a retail store www.racquetnetwork.com and www.okpickleball.ca the oldest internet service in Canada.
- Brooke Siver – For outstanding service and energy expended in growing a retail presence in BC, and indeed throughout Canada and the USA. He is a certified instructor both USA and Canada, has played in more venues than surely any other player on the planet and is President of Manta Sports who have supported pickleball for the past several years.
- Bill Macgregor – For his communications skills as Surrey instructor , a seniors Representative in the largest program in Canada , for his help in giving back to the kids in out outreach program with the kids in the schools . He has taught in other Rec centers, is a certified instructor and , until recently, was President of the Canadian Pickleball federation.
- Stan Freyer – Stan’s recognition for his years of service to South Surreys Pickleball Association.
- Valentina Paasonen –
NOTE: Should you see deserving people who should be recognized and celebrated for their efforts, Please let me know – 604-536-9602