Douglas Farrow/Contributor Dave McLure and Brenda Martel (right) play a mixed doubles match Saturday at the Parkinson Rec Centre courts during the Pickleball Canada National Tournament.

‘Good run’ for Kelowna as national hosts

Kelowna hosts Pickleball Canada National Tournament for fourth straight year at Parkinson courts

With the number of registered players more than doubling in the last year, pickleball is among the fastest growing sports in Canada.

There are now more than 13,000 people across the country taking to the courts on an annual basis, including more than 400 of those who make their home in Kelowna, often recognized as a hotbed of pickleball.

Last weekend, the game was front and centre in the Okanagan as Pickleball Kelowna played host to the Pickleball Canada National Tournament—featuring 430 players from across North America—at the Parkinson Recreation Centre.

Kelowna’s four-year run as hosts for the national event has come to an end—at least for now—as Kingston, ON has been chosen by Pickleball Canada to host the 2019 tournament.

The 2018 event was played on 12 dedicated pickleball courts at Parkinson, along with 16 more temporary ones on the Basil Meikle Tennis Courts.

If Pickleball Kelowna is to remain firmly on the map for future national events, club spokesman Wayne Pierce said a larger, dedicated pickleball facility will need to be built.

“It’s been a really good run for us, we certainly recognized going into this that Pickleball Canada wants to move this around the country and we understand that,” said Pierce.

“We would like to host this again one day, but with the tremendous growth the sport is enjoying all across the country, we need more facilities here, a platform where all the courts are together. It’s something we’ll continue to pursue with the city.”

Pierce said regardless of when the nationals return, Pickleball Kelowna will continue to host major annual events—perhaps a Canadian Open or Western Canadian championship.

As far as the benefits the community reaps from hosting such events, the nationals this year generated an estimated $1 million for the local economy.

On the court, the 2018 Canada National Tournament was temporarily hindered by rain on Friday afternoon, but Pierce said by mid-day on Saturday all matches were back on schedule.

Here’s a look at how local players fared at the national tournament:

• Men’s doubles senior open—Mike Schwarz and Jay Rippel (Issaquah, WA), gold

• Men’s singles Open—Jordan Renwick, silver

• Women’s Singles Open—Chantal Plamondon, silver

• Mixed Doubles Open—Roberta Meakin and Marco Jankowiak (Fraser Valley), bronze

• Men’s 4.5 doubles—Jordan Renwick and Andreas Wins-Purdy, silver

• Women’s doubles 4.5—Lorena McClure and Jillian Jackson, bronze

• Women’s doubles 4.0— Jillian Nicholls and Chantal Plamondon (Quebec), silver

• Women’s doubles 3.5—Beverly Shoaf and Margaret Kessler, silver

• Women’s doubles Open—Roberta Meakin and Jayna Mikuse (Kamloops), gold; and Laura Schwarz and Sue Fosbery, silver

• Mixed doubles senior Open—Laura Schwarz and Mike Schwarz, silver

• Mixed doubles 4.5—Karen Austin and Naveed Butt (Nanton, AB), bronze

• Mixed doubles 4.0—Stan Kuropatwa and Chantal Plamondon, bronze

• Women’s 3.5 singles—Anne Pettit, silver

• Men’s singles 3.5—Michael Botterill, silver

Just Posted

World Community Film Festival returns to Kelowna

The festival celebrates its 16th anniversary

Line-up for Kelowna Fan Experience 2019 to be announced

The line-up will be announced Feb. 22

2019’s “status quo” budget accepted cautiously by Kelowna Chamber

“(This budget) is to appeal to an NDP base.”

Teresa May talent agency opens in Kelowna

The agency will be holding an all ages open casting event Feb. 24

Niedermayer jersey retirement ceremony a dream come true

Penticton minor hockey players bring home memories of a lifetime from Niedermayer jersey retirement

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Larch Hills junior skiers top Teck BC Midget Championships

Multiple top-five finishes contribute to aggregate team trophy

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

Pool plans disappoint Shuswap swim clubs

Salmon Arm mayor assures options for city rec centre only preliminary

Vehicle fire on Coquihalla near Kamloops

A large plume of smoke could be seen rising into the sky over Highway 5

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read