Re: letter from Jim Geiwitz in the July 29 Peninsula News Review.
I would like to provide some context and clarity to the letter from Jim Geiwitz. His letter is misleading by comparing tennis courts in Sidney vs pickleball courts on the entire Saanich Peninsula. There are in fact six pickleball courts available in Sidney. Two in the ancient gym at Greenglade where the floor is cracked and lifting and lines are put down with duct tape. They are available for two hours on Monday and Friday mornings. Four great courts at Mary Winspear Centre that can be used on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings on a trial basis until August 26.
On the rest of the Peninsula:
• our tennis courts at Parklands school that we painted ourselves. They are in such rough shape they are actually dangerous. The asphalt is cracked with grass growing through. Being a school property, we have been asked not to play there during school hours.
• six badminton courts available for two hours a week, on Thursday evenings, at North Saanich middle school. They are so confined one can’t serve without hitting the wall.
• one multi-sport court (shared with basketball and ball hockey) in Centennial Park in Central Saanich. It has no fence and no net.
• three courts in Brentwood Community Hall, that are only available by renting the entire hall, which has limited availability.
Mr. Geiwitz states, “two more are promised by council.” My understanding is Sidney council is planning one more. A multi-sport court to be shared by ball hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and pickleball, with removable nets and posts.
In the same area there are 15 publicly-funded, quality tennis courts widely available to tennis players only. Four in Central Saanich, six at Panorama, three in Sidney, two in North Saanich and the same four at Parklands school that are “good enough” for pickleball. That is 19 in total. Many of which stand empty most of the time.
If tennis players don’t want to “share” the publicly-funded, quality, widely accessible facilities, just give us one in four, we can make four pickleball courts out of one tennis court… and many, many more taxpayers can enjoy that facility.
There are over 200 pickleball players on the Saanich Peninsula who are only asking for the same access to quality facilities as tennis players enjoy.