Grand opening of Greater Vernon’s new Pickleball courts

August 23, 2018
News

The Vernon Pickleball Association (VPA) and Greater Vernon Recreation are proud to announce the completion and opening of 12 dedicated Pickleball courts at Marshall Field.

“This event is the culmination of five years of hard work from the initial negotiations and meetings, to extraordinary fundraising efforts by the Vernon Pickleball Association members, to the tireless dedication of the members who volunteered daily during the construction phase,” said Pat Andrews, president of the Vernon Pickleball Association. “We are extremely proud of this new facility available for both VPA members and for the public to use and enjoy.”

The courts were constructed with safety in mind, and have a vinyl top-coat and court lines, interior court fencing and a covered walkway between courts. These courts will serve both the current and future needs of Pickleball players in Greater Vernon; and, in the future, will also be available for outdoor tournaments sponsored by the Vernon Pickleball Association.

“Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in North America and it is suitable for players of all ages, so the 12 dedicated courts are a great asset to our parks,” said Doug Ross, Director of Recreation Services with the City of Vernon. “The Vernon Pickleball Association put a lot of time and energy into this project and the courts look great.”

The City of Vernon, the District of Coldstream and Areas B and C provided the land and $300,000 in funding towards the courts. The Vernon Pickleball Association provided the balance of funds for the project and were the project managers. 

The Vernon Pickleball Association is a non-profit society offering both recreational and competitive Pickleball play year-round. For more information on how to join, please go to the VPA webpage at https://www.vernonpickleball.com/ or email vernonpickleball@gmail.com.

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Media inquiries:


Anne Longley
Vernon Pickleball Association
vernonpickleball@gmail.com


604-367-8203

Doug Ross
Director of Recreation Services
City of Vernon
dross@vernon.ca
250-550-3687

Facts about Pickleball:

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing and most inclusive sports in Canada and the US, with numbers expected to continue growing in the coming years. It is a sport for all ages and is easy to learn, which is why it appeals to so many age groups. Looking at Pickleball you’ll see that it’s a cross between table tennis and tennis played on a badminton sized court and it uses paddles and perforated plastic balls. The game can be played both recreationally at a fun social level, but can also develop into a fast-paced competitive game for more experienced players. It is played all year round with an outdoor season running April to September, and indoor play running October to March.

 

Timeline of Pickleball courts at Marshall Field:

  • 2013: Lobbying for outdoor Pickleball courts within Vernon begins. At the time it was considered a fad and placed on a long term plan to be considered in 2019.

  • 2015: VPA continues advocating for courts to be built sooner due to the significant growth of the sport of Pickleball

  • 2017: Proposal made from VPA to RDNO that the VPA would pay for half of the cost to build the 12 dedicated outdoor courts if the RDNO would pay half and lease us the land.

  • RDNO granted VPA $300,000 to build the courts at Marshall Field

  • June 2017: Lease agreement signed between RDNO and City of Vernon and the VPA. VPA to manage the construction and operations of the courts with the City of Vernon leasing the land to the VPA. First round of dedicated court fundraising began.

  • Spring 2018: VPA embarks on a significant fundraising initiative to pay for the dedicated courts and over $91,000 was raised by members. Also received were in-kind donations of services and materials, as well as on-going sponsorship by two local businesses.

  • July 2018: Special General Meeting held by the VPA to vote on borrowing the additional funds ($145,000) required to complete the courts in the summer of 2018. The vote passed unanimously.

  • August 25, 2018: Grand opening of the Vernon Pickleball Courts at Marshall Field

Pickleball Courts interesting construction facts:


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Blue prints contained more than 50 pages


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15,000 feet of wire had to be replaced for the irrigation move


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120 holes were drilled into the pavement with over a bag of cement in each hole to support the exterior fencing


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24 holes excavated and each one filled with a cubic meter of concrete for net posts


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750,000 lbs of concrete blocks were used for the foundation

About the Vernon Pickleball Association (VPA):


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The Vernon Pickleball Association is a non-profit society that was registered and incorporated under the B.C Societies Act on November 27, 2014. In 2014 there were approximately 170 members.


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As of August 2018 there are 370 members in the VPA …and growing! In the past 18 months there has been a 35% increase in memberships.


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The youngest member in the VPA is 14 years old and the oldest is 91.


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The VPA offers recreational and competitive play sessions year round – an indoor season from Oct 1 to April 30 and an outdoor season from May 1 to Sept 30.