City serves up pickleball courts

Penticton pickleballers are going to have a new home near the South Senior Drop-in Centre.

Bill Rogocky returns this serve as partner Michael Taenzer watches during city parks and recreation pickleball action at the gym at the recreation centre. Pickleball is just one of the many activities available during the day for seniors at the centre.

Bill Rogocky returns this serve as partner Michael Taenzer watches during city parks and recreation pickleball action at the gym at the recreation centre. Pickleball is just one of the many activities available during the day for seniors at the centre.

Penticton pickleballers are going to have a new home near the South Senior Drop-in Centre.

While the sport has hundreds of players in Penticton, there are no designated courts for it in the city. Locally, the sport can only be played on tennis courts, which require a separate set of lines on the floor.

Council decided at the May 19 meeting to create four pure pickleball courts, with the prospect of additional courts coming down the pipe.

The four courts are expected to cost around $90,000, but the city will seek out other funding and can apply for a $10,000 community project grant towards the cost.

The Penticton Pickleball Association has 250 to 300 members, and don’t want the customs of their sport to clash with tennis culture.

“We were indeed afraid that trying to put tennis and pickleball in the same court would be confusing, and as we feared the approach has not worked well,” Coun. Judy Sentes said.

The courts to be developed this summer are at 2965 South Main St. — adjacent to the South Senior Drop-in Centre.

“What’s there now is an old house that the city owns and it’s in really bad shape,” Coun. Helena Konanz said, adding that the house is slated for demolition. “It’s city space; a park area that hardly anyone even knows is there. It’s a really underutilized space.”

Because the pickleball courts will generally be used by older athletes, Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said he is happy to see it situated near the Senior’s Centre.

And the city has also committed to working with the Penticton Pickleball Association to support the development more courts in the future.