Pickleball is a growing sport, and that’s causing Penticton’s pickleball club some problems.
“Two years have passed, it is hard to believe,” said Mark Tamblyn, president of the pickleball club, referring to the four courts built in 2015 next to the South Main Drop-in Centre. “We are at a point now where we have grown, we need to expand.”
The club has 185 members now, Tamblyn said, explaining that having so many members eager to play results in waiting times at the courts.
“On a typical day we could have up to 34 players waiting to play in the drop-in times,” said Tamblyn.
The pickleball club is hoping to build another four courts, taking over five of the existing 10 horseshoe pitches, which that club has agreed to give up, according to Tamblyn.
The pickleball club is asking the City of Penticton to consider kicking in up to 70,000 for the construction of new courts.
Tamblyn said the club has been putting $35 of their $75 fees aside, and have $20,000 in their account. They’re also anticipating being able to raise $25,000 more in community and member donations.
Before they can go ahead with fundraising locally and applying for grants, they need an agreement from the city to allocate the land.
“If we got a 10-year agreement, we can go for a gaming grant,” said Tamblyn, adding that without a land agreement, they can’t go forward with fundraising.
“The last courts cost $110,000,” said Tamblyn, explaining they need to come up with about $50,000 to make the project a reality, and another $30,000 or so for future development of the site.
Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said he appreciated the club wasn’t coming to council with empty hands.
“It helps to move it up the priority line,” said Jakubeit. Council referred the matter to staff to continue working with the club and develop a recommendation.