Doris Intscher is an avid pickleball player who has played the sport for about 18 months. (Tim Collins/News staff)

Pickleball a game for all generations and fitness levels

Pickleball.

The sport has been described as including aspects of tennis, badminton, and ping pong but, in reality, it is none of those – aside, perhaps, the fact that there’s a net and rackets involved in all four games.

Perhaps the nature of the game can best be found in its origins. In 1965, or so the story goes, two fellows named Joel Pritchard and his friend Bill Bell returned from a round of golf to find their families sitting around, bored out of their skulls. The enterprising gentlemen decided to set up the badminton net, but failing to find the requisite equipment, they improvised by lowering the net to ground level and using ping pong paddles and a perforated wiffle ball to entertain their families.

Makeshift rules followed and the game spread and evolved, but the core purpose remained; to have fun and be accessible to all ages and abilities.

Today the sport is growing at an exponential rate in North America, often to the dismay of tennis players who arrive at their neighbourhood courts to find a new set of lines drawn on the court surface de-marking a much smaller pickleball court.

Regardless of the grumbling of some tennis players, the Saanich Peninsula has fully embraced pickleball and, these days, the game is gaining new legitimacy as dedicated pickleball courts are constructed and existing facilities are modified to allow the game to be played. This month four dedicated courts will open in the District of North Saanich.

Brenda Hardy, the founder and head of the Saanich Peninsula Pickleball Association, is extremely grateful for that development.

“I really have to thank North Saanich for what they’ve done. Instead of having limited access to shared courts, these new courts will be available 24/7. We can’t wait,” said Hardy.

On the Peninsula, explained Hardy, the vast majority of players are older adults with about 80 per cent of her 135 members aged 6o or more.

“We have players in their eighties but, the thing is, kids love it too. My grandkids come out and play frequently. It really allows people from all generations to play a game together and just have a lot of fun.”

While the game can be competitive, that aspect of the game most often gives way to fun and socialization. Hardy’s association hosts two or three larger social events throughout the year, and a host of smaller, less formal events as well.

“We gave one of our members a surprise 60th birthday barbecue at the courts recently and about 40 people showed up. We all know one another, you see, and we’re always welcoming of new players. It’s really what pickleball is all about.

More information on pickleball and how you can join the ranks of Peninsula pickleballers can be found at seniorschoosingwisely.com.

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

BC Boat Show sails back to Sidney

Port Sidney Marina hosting event May 3 to 6

UPDATE: Driver escapes from crash in Sidney

Town truck and another vehicle collide, causing van to roll over

GALLERY: Storm causes damage along the waterfront in Greater Victoria

Municipal crews are cleaning up Monday following Sunday’s high wind and waves

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

UPDATE: Tsunami warning ended for Greater Victoria

Homes in Colwood near Esquimalt Lagoon were evacuated after tsunami warning for coastal areas of B.C. after 7.9 earthquake off Alaskan coast

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Tsunami warning prompts evacuations in Port Alberni

Alaska earthquake prompted warning for coastal BC

Most Read