Tennis, badminton and table tennis all wrapped into one game — that’s pickleball.
The game, which is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, essentially consists of playing a slightly tweaked version of tennis, on a badminton-sized court while using a slightly smaller sized wiffle ball and oversized table tennis paddles.
The sport travels at a speed that’s one-third of the pace of a typical tennis match because of the equipment that is used, namely the ball, and can be played indoors or outdoors.
The speed of the game and inexpensive pieces of equipment help make the sport accessible to a wide range of athletes and ages.
Abbotsford resident and Pickleball Canada president, Shirley Shepherd said, “Statistics show that last year the number of players in B.C. increased from about 7,000 to 10,000 players, … [while] the number of players in Canada has increased from 14,000 to 20,000.”
Kelowna just recently hosted the Canadian Pickleball Western Championships in July which was attended by roughly 300 players from around western Canada and the U.S.
The Fraser Valley Pickleball Club plays on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Jubilee Park (32315 South Fraser Way), weather permitting. The club also hosts a Saturday morning session. All are open to the public to join.