Sooke pickleballers are rallying for funds to resurface the local outdoor courts.
The pickleball group came before Sooke council Monday night to ask for $7,000 towards the resurfacing project.
Sooke resident and pickleball enthusiast Marilyn Erickson says the group has been working on getting funding for four years to fix up the courts, and they have applied for various grants this year.
The pickleball group tidied up the tennis courts in 2018, which were in rough shape, said Erickson. In previous years the group also received a grant from Sooke council to buy new tennis nets and poles, and to paint new lines on the courts.
Now the group will need about $30,000 to cover the old asphalt on both courts with a surface called ‘Plexipave,’ which Erickson says is a grippy, all-weather, non-slip material.
“It is quite colourful as well, so it will spiff up the area,” said Erickson. “The old asphalt is nearly 40 years old, we know we have to save the courts. They are a valuable community asset and we want them to be safe to play on. So we are just trying to cobble together money here and there, to try and get it done.”
Getting the surface redone would open up competitive opportunities, as more courts could be painted on the new surface, meaning the group could host tournaments in the future.
For now, the group only allows single players or households to play together, due to health restrictions. Erickson said the courts are an important place for people to mingle and enjoy an activity. She noted pickleball has been gaining popularity over the years, and brings residents together.
“Right now the social aspect is incredibly important. It is a safe, low-impact, affordable and fun sport. There are a lot of laughs, and we have so much fun. Lasting friendships have formed here,” said Erickson. “It’s a wonderful family sport, and I think it’s a great way to build a healthy community.”
For more information, please visit the Sooke Pickleball Facebook page.