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Summer pickleball in full swing in South Cariboo

The South Cariboo Pickleball Association hopes to build a new pickleball court at the 108 Mile Ranch
Bob Hanson, a resident of Timothy Lake and a member of the South Cariboo Pickleball Club, serves a ball at the Rolf Zeis Memorial Arena. (Misha Mustaqeem photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

The summer pickleball season is well underway in the South Cariboo.

In mid-May, the South Cariboo Pickleball Association (SCPA) moved into the Rolf Zeis Memorial Arena in Lac La Hache. Larry Davis, the SCPA’s chair, said they’ll be playing pickleball there five times a week from now until mid-September when the ice goes back in.

“We’ll be hosting beginner practice sessions just designed to develop a bigger base for our club,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of younger players starting to come out across North America. There’s a professional league now in Canada as well as the States and the average age of those players are people in their 20s or 30s.

“There’s lots of room for growth and I would say anyone who wants to try a sport that’s fun and social (should come). We play doubles and mixed doubles, so people can get out and meet other people. There’s always a lot of laughter going on.”

The SCPA is in the arena on Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. They offer novice, intermediate and competitive levels of play and are always looking for new members. There may be some variation in playtime throughout the summer, with Davis encouraging those who want up-to-date information to join the SCPA to receive the schedule.

Davis said the SCPA is currently in talks with the 108 Mile Ranch Community Association to construct a pickleball court near the 108 Community Centre. They plan to build between six to eight outdoor courts for use during the summer.

“We’re working out a lease deal where we would lease it for a long time period with the sole goal of it being for pickleball for the area residents,” Davis explained. “Anyone who joins the pickleball club will get the rights to use the courts.”

At the moment the only major hurdle to this new court is a potential zoning change from institutional to recreational. Davis noted that building these courts will be expensive and the SCPA has already begun raising funds to help pay for it. Just this past weekend they raised $3,850 from the annual Duck Races in Centennial Park.

Davis said they anticipate the courts will cost in the neighbourhood of $225,000, though the final cost may vary depending on what bids for the project they receive. In addition to raising some money, he noted they intend to apply for grants and government funding to help bring the project to life.

“This year we’ll get that lease agreement and get the cost nailed down. Then we’ll get the land developed,” Davis said. “Our club size right now is around 110 people. Getting some outdoor courts would make that double easily.”

Lorne Landry, resident of Abel Lake Road, attempts to hit the pickleball. (Misha Mustaqeem photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Larry Davis, the chairperson of the South Cariboo Pickleball Club, deflects a pass. (Misha Mustaqeem photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Larry Davis, the chairperson of the South Cariboo Pickleball Club, anticipates a pass. (Misha Mustaqeem photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Amol Gharat, a resident of 108 Mile Ranch and member of the pickleball club, preparing to serve. (Misha Mustaqeem photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Patrick Davies

About the Author: Patrick Davies

An avid lover of theatre, media, and the arts in all its forms, I've enjoyed building my professional reputation in 100 Mile House.
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