May 24, 2015 - 8:32 AM
PENTICTON - Pickle ball and tennis don’t go together well, so they will get courts of their own.
Penticton City council learned that lesson at its meeting earlier this week.
The game which combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong has become quite popular in the city, but with no dedicated courts, those who play the sport have had to share the courts with tennis players.
"This arrangement has not worked well,” Public Works Manager Len Robson reported to council.
Approved in this year’s budget was a Public Works' request for $59,000 to construct four new pickle ball courts. The city also received a $25,000 federal grant from the New Horizons Program and a $10,000 Southern Interior Local Government Association grant which could also be used to build new courts.
Staff continue to work with the Penticton Pickleball Association to find new joint funding opportunities, but at present time the club is too new to have had adequate time to find new funding sources. Robson reported the club was looking at potential funding opportunities to build four additional courts should the present proposal pass council. With eight courts, the club would be in a position to hold tournaments.
Seven sites were considered by staff for court construction, including Lakawanna Park, Riverside Park, Columbia and McNIcholl Schools, the Duncan Avenue Reservoir and 2965 South Main at the Senior’s Drop In Centre. The South Main address was considered the best choice by staff because of its size, location and proximity to public transit.
Councillor Helena Konanaz, a former pro tennis player, said the two games were definitely, “different sports,” noting pickle ball’s social aspect and generally noisy nature. She said more pickle ball courts in one area would increase the sociability of the sport.
Council voted unanimously to utilize existing funds as well as the city’s SILGA grant to construct the first four courts at 2965 South Main adjacent the Senior’s Centre, with future expansion and enhanced amenities to be carried out in partnership with the Penticton Pickleball Association and the city.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015