Members of a local pickleball group are looking for a court to call their own.
On a sunny summer morning, Irene Caron and a group of players were out playing pickleball at the tennis courts on Bannerman Avenue.
At the time, it was the only court in town with lines for the sport and the group has since been moved to play at the courts in Mountjoy. The players are asking the city for a court of their own, though.
“We’ve been playing for six years. We went to the town the very first months that we started playing, they said they’ll see what they could do for us … and then from then on we kept writing letters,” said Caron.
“We need a place of our own, really we don’t have one. Imagine all over the place everybody’s got beautiful pickleball courts and we don’t even have one after six years we’ve been playing.”
The move to Mountjoy is because the Bannerman courts are being upgraded, said Glenn Thurston, manager of parks, recreation and building services.
Last year, council awarded a $194,194 contract to Secord Construction to install a concrete pad for a multicourt use at Roy Nicholson Park located on 8th Avenue at Pine Street North.
"We are waiting for soil test results to continue the work on the multicourt at Roy Nicholson Park which will have hockey and in the winter and pickleball in the summer. There will only be the pickleball lines draw there. Pickleball lines are drawn on some of the existing tennis courts at this time, but please note that quite often too many lines on a court may lead to confusion by users of the court," said Thurston.
There are about 80 members in the pickleball club, said Caron.
“It’s a fast-growing sport, especially for seniors,” she said.
Right now, they've asked the city to use a court for two hours in the morning, seven days a week.
“We would like to play at night, we would like to have little tournaments going on, but right now we’re limited. So limited. And we’re seniors after all and we want to be participating, we want to be active and we want to stay in shape," Caron said.
With a designated court, Caron said the club could have different player divisions, such as beginner, intermediate and competitive.
“And we don’t because we don’t have the space to play and summertime is a good time,” she said.
She said an indoor sportsplex is also needed to play sports.
The city's tennis courts can be booked online at sportyhq.com using the guest password posted at the tennis courts, said Thurston.
"Some courts have also been set aside for open play which is also posted at the court. It would be advisable to use the app from home to see the availability of each court to avoid disappointment before going to the intended park," he said.