On the 2017 labour day Weekend , Rita and I found ourselves celebrating our 52nd wedding anniversary on Vancouver Island with friends. What a nice opportunity to check out Pickleball
on the Island . One of my friends Pat Orpen was nice enough to invite me to play with the well established program for Parksville run by the Bohms , husband and wife who teach in the two of three
potential outdoor venues. On the Lacrosse box venue where I played twice, the players were very amenable , Mrs Bohm giving me her husband’s card and welcoming me to the courts . Players were
new to intermediate and new players were moved to another court for instruction. The surface was unpolished concrete thus a little hard on the feet . The potential for alternating groups was there
with signs indicating “ who’s next “ , winners and almost winners. Some do this with paddle “ sox” or just on the fence. This program is free .
A short distance from here there was visible 8 courts on a tennis facility, fenced, and marked as overlay to the tennis courts. It contained eight tennis courts where the players were over 55 and were ranked and rated in a private club structure as found in the USA . A fee is paid per year as well a fee is charged per visit if one is not a member . This venue seemed well attended. In the aggregate is appears that the potential is being reached of 70 to 80 players per day, on the outdoor venues provided by parks and Rec. They also have an indoor facility for wintertime. Surrounding communities also have indoor and outdoor facilities ( Nanaimo , Courtney, Comox and Cumberland and Ladysmith. Further afield programs in Campbell River and Port Alberni , Miller lake are also growing .
While in Parksville we thought , that for novelty and to appeal to youth potential pickleball players that they could try Smashball on the large sandlot provided adjacent to the tennis courts . This sport is played in various ways ( beach pickleball, shinny pickleball , one on one , etc ) it is played with a small hard ball – no net and no court required – just distance from each other predetermined. If the ball is wide, you can dive for it ! Ho Ho . The sand here is light coloured and soft, so it would make an interesting addition to the Parksville landscape and I think it would bring many young people to the Smashball venue. This is also touted by the largest USA internet site for Pickleball as a a related sport to us and to Table tennis as well as tennis. They also advertise all the related paddles on their website namely, tennis, table tennis, and pickleball and Smashball. ( see link above )
Finally, as summer recedes and rain has finally arrived , many see this as a relief from the summer fires in BC and elsewhere – only to be replaced by southern floods . I find it a laudable trait that the last
two communities that BC pickleball has taught , namely Williams Lake and Princeton have both continued to play and grow their programs throughout the record fires and smoke in the province of BC. We
Picklers are tough eh. In the larger picture, more and more of our programs are achieving maturity status with both indoor and outdoor programs flourishing to overflow capacity. This begs the question,
what next ? Tony Casey. our new board member responsible for national and international as well as provincial relations is prepared to host a group who would address this question. INTERESTED ?
Please contact him at .
www.bcpickleball.com official and registered for BC
ph – 604-536-9602