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.

 

Just Posted

Ponoka Stampeders zero for two against Stettler Lightning

Stamps prepare for Sunday home game against the Cochrane Generals

Ponoka cowboy Vernon (Bud) Butterfield passes away

The Ponoka Stampede Association announced his passing Friday

Ponoka’s ag event centre busy with show jumping event

Equine show jumpers came to the Calnash Ag Event Centre for a show jumping event

Environment Minister clarifies misconceptions in Bighorn proposal

Minister Shannon Phillips speaks to concerns around the Bighorn Country

Three Ponoka men and one youth charged in assault case

Police obtained a search warrant and located drugs and sawed-off shot gun

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

WATCH: Team Alberta in Red Deer this weekend to prepare for Canada Winter Games

About 250 Team Alberta athletes toured venues and tested out facilities Saturday

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Ponoka RCMP are looking for a missing man

Police say he may be in Drayton Valley and they are worried for his wellbeing

Dog dies saving B.C. family from burning home

Homeowners safe but one pet missing, another confirmed dead following fire

Most Read