Pickleball a growing sport

Ponoka’s tennis courts were busy but not with tennis players but with folks learning the finer points of pickleball.

Val Vollman provides tips on the finer points of pickleball Saturday

Ponoka’s tennis courts were busy Saturday, June 18 but not with tennis players. Rather it was a clinic highlighting the finer points of a new sport called pickleball.

Pickleball is a combination of badminton, tennis and table tennis, which has seen some steady growth over the years, particularly with seniors. In Ponoka a group of players have been active at it at the tennis courts that have modified pickleball lines drawn on each one.

No other special equipment is needed except for a ball similar to a wiffle ball and solid paddles made of wood or composite materials.

Teaching the clinic was Val Vollmin, who is with a league in Red Deer. She has been playing the sport since 2010 where she discovered it in Arizona. Trying to host games in Alberta earlier was difficult as the only place where it was hosted was in Kelowna, B.C., she explained.

Now it’s everywhere.

“Everybody can play it. It’s just a fun game for everybody,” said Vollman.

The lines, which are shorter than tennis court boundaries, are easy to setup and the game uses the same tennis nets. At first playing the game was something to stay active, says Vollman, but now it has reached a new level of competitiveness.

At the time that the Red Deer club started up, there were about 25 athletes. Now there are about 130 active members.

“The City (of Red Deer) has just given us a new facility at the Pines. So we’ve got nine courts there,” said Vollman.

While the Red Deer courts are not quite as smooth as Ponoka’s surface, it does offer an opportunity to be active and play a fun game, said Vollman.

Growth is continuous. A new tournament is being set up in August at Red Deer.

“We’ve made a lot of friends…It’s almost like a family reunion,” she added.

Pickleball organizers pushing to be a recognized sport

There are 2,500 members with Pickleball Canada and Vollman is the president of the association who is pushing to make Pickleball a recognized sport in Canada.

To do that there needs to be 5,000 people signed up with the association. Vollman said she is excited for the futuer as they continue to see a growing number of active members.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 recovered cases continue to rise in Alberta

69 more recoveries Tuesday, bringing the total to 6,048

Drug trafficking charges laid in central Alberta investigation

Investigation included Ponoka, Brazeau, Leduc counties

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Ponoka County may see big road repair bill

Elkhorn Road could cost upwards of $300,000 to fix

Car slides off flooded Sunken Bridge

Unknown why driver drove over bridge twice

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Calgary bans businesses that claim to change sexual orientation or gender identity

Calgary bans businesses that claim to change sexual orientation or gender identity

Canada outspends Ireland, Norway in new pledging on Venezuelan refugee crisis

Canada outspends Ireland, Norway in new pledging on Venezuelan refugee crisis

‘I can’t live on:’ Daughter of man fatally shot by Regina police seeks answers

‘I can’t live on:’ Daughter of man fatally shot by Regina police seeks answers

Alberta legislature to resume with COVID work, other bills, sitting into July

Alberta legislature to resume with COVID work, other bills, sitting into July

Walt Disney World presenting plans for reopening parks

Walt Disney World presenting plans for reopening parks

‘Amazing Race Canada’ wins big on second night of Canadian Screen Awards

‘Amazing Race Canada’ wins big on second night of Canadian Screen Awards

Quebec to loan up to US$200 million to struggling Cirque du Soleil

Quebec to loan up to US$200 million to struggling Cirque du Soleil

UNB board votes to strip name from law faculty building over links to slavery

UNB board votes to strip name from law faculty building over links to slavery

Most Read