Our area’s pickleball is at a turning point. Our playing population has grown, and, this trend will continue. I have had conversations with pioneers about what it was like when our game came to Victoria. The earliest reference I heard of was 1998 in Brentwood,….just eighteen years ago! The growth was slow at first,….for instance, 7 years ago their was only 2 courts used for pickleball at Commonwelth Rec. Now it’s a different story, at Commonwealth the courts are jammed, at Brentwood they have a capped number of players. You register to play at Esquimalt,..if you don’t phone in by 7:30 am on the day of, their list may be filled. I’ve heard there is similar crowded stories for pickleball at Mary Winspear and Henderson Rec. facilities. Even at Pearkes, with its’ 6 courts, the play is often 9 point matches. Why is this happening?…Well,…I have a theory.
Our sport is more than a game. It becomes part of you! You don’t just play pickleball, you absorb it into your personality. You are changed,…you become a pickler. Non-pickle converts don’t understand,…even if they are employed at laces that affect us. People like mayors, councillors, recreation planners…they either: 1- have never heard of pickleball, or…2- underestimate the fervour of its adherents. Thus,…they don’t include us in their plans.
I have a mission. I have over 200 subscribers to my blog. By the end of 2016 I would like to have 400 plus readers,….and the majority of the regions PBers. I think that part of the role of this newsletter should be to promote, and report, on the progress of the hardcore pickle heads that are working on improving the quality of the PB experience for all players. I know to some people they are ‘dirty word’, so I hope you will excuse the vulgarity, but I think we should ‘get organized’, and ‘get our sh#t together’. Some of this activity is already happening right here in Greater Pickleville, but we can do more.
For us retirees, we may have to add another unwelcome swear word to our vocabulary…’work’! So sorry,…I apologize, but we have to face reality….the PB status quo isn’t working….well,…I think you can draw your own conclusions about what we have to do to change things.
I would like to hear people’s comments to what they have read here. Please share your ideas for change with the CC audience.
Talking Pickleball With Lisa Helps
Last Friday, Pamela and I attended a public meeting with the mayor of Victoria. She wanted to hear what the people had to say about issues affecting the residents of our fair city. Items on the agenda included prepayment of taxes, Cook St. development, a Victoria Tool Library, taxis and Uber, and…an idea ‘I’ had to help the homeless.
Many moons ago, I read an article about Bill Ritchie of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He started a ‘pay it forward’ pickleball project in his town. Pamela and I have had some dealings with the people who reside at the tent city and the other camping spots in the doorways and parks in Victoria. I think pickleball might help them.
As you may be aware, Victoria’s mayor is doing a lot to help homeless people to find shelter and get their lives together. Lisa Helps is in favour of, and willing to help, get the pickle project going at the Curling Rink this summer. This program would be scheduled at a different time from the regular summer drop-in times.
I am looking for volunteers. Please contact me if you would be willing to teach pickleball to the homeless. That helps them trade one addiction for another.
You can check out whats happening in Wisconsin by going to Jennifer’s Pickleball Blog and looking at the Dec. 16th, 2014 and Feb. 12th, 2015 archive editions.
Props to The Pickleball Channel
There are players who have been working for some time on getting designated PB courts somewhere in Victoria. That would be the best solution for outdoor play. However, if we have to have multi-use tennis courts, there may be a better way to go about serving both sports,….check out this video from a Las Vegas pickleballer:
Gear Talk: High End Multi-Use Courts with John Sloan
Cucumber Vine – Comments, Rumours, and Innuendos
-I got and email from Keith Dowdal about how the pickleballers do thing in Hamilton, Ontario….They have a 70 players who pay $50 for winter memberships, and 110 players who pay $50 for summer memberships. They rent evening time at 4 different schools in the winter for around $1000. I think they may play somewhere outside in the summer for no rental cost.
-I got an email from the ‘Postman’. That’s not his name (or job), but it’s how I think of him. Although he likes to remain anonymous, his correspondence always gives me something to think about. I sent him a note about feeling impatient with waiting for Saanich to make a decision about pickleball courts at Tolmie Park. This is his reply:
- I know it’s difficult to ‘be patient’ when we love PB a much as we do, but I think we have no choice. If this doesn’t go through at least Saanich knows how passionate we are and, I believe, will try to incorporate it into one of their larger parks, i.e. Hampton, when changes are due in one of those facilities….I sure hope so..we need something so people can develop like other cities have been doing. In Victoria, we lack ‘top’ players for a variety of reasons…one of them being lack of facilities.
- With more facilities we could have more lessons, more intermediate play and instruction to allow our people (who want to) to get better. Right now people can learn and achieve a reasonable level but it stops there as we have little in the way of ‘advanced competition’…something that is almost a swear word to some…but that is OK..with lots of courts there would be something available to everyone!!! Excuse me while I get off my soap box, Doug.
No need to apologize Postman…I’ve felt like a good rant myself lately….. How about I get my frustration off my chest by singing us a song:
- Someday, Somewhere
- We’ll find a new place for pickleing,
- We’ll find a new way of playing.
- There’s a place for us,
- Somewhere a place for us,
- Pickleball in the open air,
- No long waits for us,….Somewhere.
- There’s a time for us,
- Someday there’ll be advanced time for us,
- Time together with partner play to spare,
- Time to learn, Time to share,
- Someday, Somewhere,
- Grab your paddle and we’re halfway there,
- Somehow, Someday, Somewhere! (Sorry Babs Streisand)
-Other than our group trying to get designated courts at Tolmie Park, there is another group making a proposal for 6 designated courts at another Park. I can’t give details yet, but I’m crossing my fingers that we find a place somewhere.
Thanks for listening,
DJ Baker. email@example.com