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

Victoria council narrowly approves transitional housing for former Tally Ho

Neighbours angry about decision to allow temporary three-year permit

Inner Harbour pathway in need of repairs: Harbour Authority

Victoria council approves initial design plans for walkway changes

RCMP open investigation to find missing Sooke macaw

$5,000 reward still being offered for safe return of Rufus

Check out what’s happening in Greater Victoria this weekend

From swimming championships to Oak Bay Light Up, there’s plenty to keep you busy this weekend

VicPD chief rescues lost $10 bill in downtown Victoria

The note was promptly returned to its owner unharmed

Victoria Royals giving a boost to fund inspired by Tragically Hip singer

Downie Wenjack Fund recipient of funds raised starting at tonight’s WHL game vs. Seattle

Esquimalt mayor frustrated at latest E&N railbed development

Barb Desjardins says it makes no sense to start over looking at commuter options for corridor

Nanaimo judge won’t let arsonist have a cigarette lighter

Martin Arthur Taylor previously pleaded guilty to February 2016 arson incident in Nanaimo

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Most Read