Behind every good man there are
several good Women.
THE WOMEN OF PICKLEBALL IN CANADA – A SHORT HISTORICAL PERPECTIVE.
In the beginning, there was Skoujke Lehmann who started the Okanagan program in BC and went on, who paired up with Pat Caine from Surprise, Arizona to become the best female player in Canada, the USA and perhaps the world. She presently resides in Bowser, BC and spends part of the year in AZ. Of late, she has been very helpful in teaching in the Upper Vancouver Island area and no doubt is partly responsible for the rapid growth in that area. She is the “first lady of BCpickleball”.
Second came Bev Butt from Regina, Saskatchewan , who with Gail Stakiw have carved out a niche in that province . She has also been very active in Arizona over the years on the Tourney circuit and on the American Board as well as a founding member of Pickleball Canada. Of late she is working on the Senior Games in her province and she remains the “first lady” of Canadian pickleball.
Third is a special lady who has unequalled claims. She is Luba Jehovic , former coach of the Russian Badminton team who , six years ago took on a dual teaching role of both badminton and pickleball in one of the largest private tennis clubs in Canada , Holleyburn Tennis Club as well as South Surrey Rec, where she has trained some 3000 new players the gentle art of pickleball. Of late, she has branched out to the new Center in Cloverdale and the Newton Rec center. She and her son Denis (University student) deserve the title of “Outstanding Teacher in Canada.”
Fourth is Louise Lemieux , wife of Marcel Lemieux , President of Pickleball Quebec. She has played for many years and is a fierce competitor even when faced with health concerns. She is a tournament player as well as always at her husbands side when he teaches in the fastest growing segment of pickleball in Canada – namely Quebec. They are nearing one thousand players in the past two years.Louise has been there all the way from the beginning in her province. She is a wonderful promoter. I had the pleasure to work with her here in BC on several occasions teaching children in elementary schools.
Fifth is Grace Johner , who is a tireless promoter, always in the background helping her husband with the many details of tournaments, orders to fill, stocking, inventorying, letters to write, and generally supporting the PB effort. She always promotes the position that any center is better off with pickleball because it gives them another income stream and she is of course right. She deserves the title of “best supporter”.
Sixth is Rita Lefaive who for several of the past six years , nursed in the local hospital, But in the past four years has been at and in the South Surrey Rec center on a regular basis and fields many issues that come up, questions regarding what is happening , interpersonal concerns and monitoring rules in our center. She is always supporting and nurturing to the group which is large. She deserves the “Florence Nightingale Award” of Pickleball.
Seventh is Brownie Carleton – our teaching senior who at 6:00 am some four years ago came to learn how to play , who started Cloverdale Pickleball and Walnut Grove and taught at both places even when her husband was ill. To her goes the “Over – the – top Award” of pickleball.
Other ladies of more recent vintage who have been outstanding in growing their programs are : Linda Dane – Edmonton, Dee Pitcher – Nanaimo Windsor- Saint Rose, Karen Renfrew –Sechelt, Irene Kalnins – Richmond, Shirley Edwards – Pt Moody and Sue Guest in Victoria.
No doubt there are many more – if you know of some , let me know. Yours in Sport and health, Chuck Lefaive Founding Director – www.bcpickleball.com PH– 604-536-9602 Founding director www.bcpickleball.com PH– 604-536-9602