Building a sport takes work, patience and fundraising. Some pickleballers prefer a shortcut, muscling in on existing tennis facilities.
They send players wielding pickleball racquets to council meetings, demanding access to tennis facilities and dismissing concerns raised by tennis players.
The Capital Regional District’s recent inventory confirms there are already more pickleball than tennis courts on the Peninsula.
Our tennis facilities were developed based on demonstrated demand and business cases.
The indoor courts at Panorama cost $24/hr, have generated millions of dollars in revenue and make a net positive contribution to Panorama’s annual operating costs.
We contribute if we want improvements. We recently raised $5,000 to improve Panorama’s outdoor tennis facilities.
Is it any surprise that tennis players feel threatened when pickleballers claim the right to equal access and demand changes to tennis courts that make it more difficult for us to play our game?
The position of South Island Tennis Association, representing 6,000 members, is that the two sports are incompatible; separate pickleball facilities are needed to avoid conflict.
Tennis BC is also concerned about tennis/pickleball conflicts occurring across the province.
The worst solution is to simply paint pickleball lines on tennis courts and leave tennis and pickleball players to resolve conflicts.
If pickleballers are serious about their sport they should form an organization and do the hard work required to develop a business case for appropriate facilities.
Pickleball standards require badminton-sized courts with nets 2” lower than tennis nets.
They should show their commitment by raising some funds to help pay for facilities.
We want all residents to be able to enjoy their sport of choice.
We will work with a pickleball organization if they would show respect for tennis players’ concerns and the efforts we have made to develop our sport.
Alan Osborne, President, Peninsula Tennis Club, North Saanich