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Kamloops sports club in a pickle

Pickleball is a fast growing sport in B.C. and North America.
Image Credit: Pickleball British Columbia
December 18, 2014 - 2:34 PM


KAMLOOPS - Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in North America, but where can you play indoor pickleball in Kamloops? Right now, nowhere.

Ron Telford says the club, which currently has about 150 players and is growing every month, had been playing in the old youth centre building on McArthur Island, but that facility was shut down after the new John Tod Community Centre opened earlier this fall. It is now slated for demolition.

“Our club was playing pickleball in the old youth centre building and now we have to play in other buildings,” Telford says. Often they find their times in the other building cancelled by other activities.

The club is scouring Kamloops for a place to play and Telford hopes the city will consider building a multi-sport facility in place of the youth centre. He’d like to see all indoor senior games, from pickleball and badminton to slow pitch and volleyball, included in the preliminary plans for an indoor soccer facility at the site.

“There is a grey tsunami coming. They are going to retire and will want to play indoor sports,” Telford says. “This city does not have spaces for all these active seniors.”

The idea of an indoor soccer facility is part of the original tournament capital program and dates back more than a decade but languishes in the preliminary discussion phases. City staff will be meeting with members of the soccer community in January to start working out the details, but parks director Byron McCorkell notes the facility will probably be able to support multi-sport use.

Telford notes badminton players would need a ceiling of at least 30 to 40 feet high, though pickleball players try to keep their balls lower.

“We have pickleball in our rangefinder,” McCorkell reassures Telford. “We’re hoping to be able to facilitate it the best we can.”

Council was quick to suggest the possibility of the club raising funds to help build the facility, at which point it could be named after the club.

“Do we name one of the gyms the pickle room if they brought enough money to the table?” Coun. Donovan Cavers suggested, to which Mayor Peter Milobar quickly replied, “Or the pickle jar.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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