The Penticton pickleball courts are going to play host to a fundraising three day tournament for mental health over Sept. 16 to 18. (Submitted)

The Penticton pickleball courts are going to play host to a fundraising three day tournament for mental health over Sept. 16 to 18. (Submitted)

Pickleball for mental health in Penticton

A 3-day tournament will take over the courts Sept. 16-18 at the Senior Drop-In Centre

The Canadian Mental Health Association and Penticton Pickleball Club are bringing pickleball players from across the province to raise funds and awareness for mental health through a three-day tournament.

Starting fundraising in June, the CMHA is only $6,000 away from reaching its goal of $50,000.

The tournament will have 140 players competing in men’s doubles, mixed doubles, and ladies’ doubles over the three-day tournament from Sept. 16 to 18 at the Penticton pickleball courts at the Senior Drop-In Centre.

“We have players from Vernon, Salmon Arm, Vancouver and even Alberta” said Pat Meyer, an avid pickleball player and tournament director.

The CMHA is aiming to meet its goal through silent auctions, raffles, and donations at the tournament. Since 2020, CMHA has seen the scale of mental distress increase significantly.

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The need for mental health supports is greater than ever and all proceeds from the tournament will go directly into suicide prevention training, mental health first aid, Unity Clubhouse, Mental Health Advocacy, and a meals program for those living with mental illness.

“Pickleball for Mental Health tournament is all about having fun and supporting mental health” said Leah Schulting, executive director of the local CMHA branch.

Beginners to advanced levels of play will be on display at the Penticton Senior’s Drop-In Centre courts all three days.

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in North America and combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong and is played on a small court and is extremely popular in the Okanagan.

The public is encouraged to come down to the courts over the weekend and check it out. There will be pickleball on display, music, a food truck, raffles, silent auctions, and more with no cost of admission.

Donations can also be made online at sos.cmha.bc.ca/donate or by calling the CMHA at 250-493-8999.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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