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After years of hosting events in high school gymnasiums and curling rinks, Pickleball Regina now has a new home at Evraz Place.
The organization says it’s grown from 40 people to over 500 members in less than two years, and had been looking for space to accommodate the game’s unique aspects.
The facility at the Canada West Show Sale Arena has room for up to five courts; however it isn’t a permanent pickleball paradise.
“It replaces what we had last year at the Tartan Curling Club,” said Allan Carpentier with Pickleball Regina. “The Tartan Curling Club is now gone, so that facility is no longer available to us so we spoke to REAL Group and we have secured a spot for two days a week here.”
When it comes to the sport’s growth in the Queen City, pickleballers say it comes down to how accessible the sport is for everyone.
“People were talking about how it’s such a growing sport, anyone can play, not just a particular age group,” said Sandy Jackle, a new pickleball player. “I want to tell my friends to come play and just infiltrate ourselves into the league.”
“People at varying physical abilities can play the game fairly successfully, so it allows you to keep active but not be overwhelmed by the immensity or intensity of the game,” said Gary Tollefson, a more experienced player.
Pickleball’s growth in popularity has the city looking at finding a permanent facility as it lays out its Recreation Master Plan.
“The numbers have gone up so quickly, I think now we can look at facilities where residents are able to play in both summer and winter, so we need to be able to adjust that,” said Lori Bresciani, city councillor for Ward 4.
The organization says it wants to grow the game at the youth level now that it’s secured a dedicated space, and hopes a few large scale competitions like the provincial tournament will influence people to pick up a paddle and play a little pickleball.
Based on a report by CTV Regina’s Joey Slattery