Pickleheads continue growth in 2019

Traditionally, the majority of members fell in the 55 and older age range, but Jones said the club has seen an influx in the younger generation.

Josh ThomasJosh Thomas
Published on: May 18, 2019 | Last Updated: May 17, 2019 5:15 PM EDT
Cindy Burton returns a ball while teammate Wayne Hackner looks on the pickle ball courts at Henry Singer Ballpark in Spruce Grove. Photo by Josh Thomas. Reporter/Examiner Staff

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The Parkland Pickleheads are multiplying.

At least that’s what club president Gerand Jones said as the club continues its recent trend of steady growth.

“Right now we’re ahead of last year’s pace. We’re sitting around 260 members whereas last year we ended with 280. I suspect we’ll hit around 310 in total,” said Jones.

Open sessions and inter club league play take place on a daily basis at the Henry Singer Ball Park pickle ball courts in Spruce Grove.

In addition to daily play, the Pickleheads will host three tournaments over the course of the season.

The first will be an all members tournament in June, followed by the club’s summer smash in August that will be open to all players. Tournament season wraps up on National Pickleball Day, Aug. 11. The national championship Pickleball Tournament will be held in Kingston, Ont. this year from June 27-30.

“Some groups have the option of playing up to nine times a week. That’s just for our in house schedule, and we have our three tournaments every year,” said Jones.

Longtime Pickleheads have also seen a changing in the demographic of players that choose to try out the sport.

Traditionally, the majority of members fell in the 55 and older age range, but Jones said the club has seen an influx in the younger generation.

“Were seeing our demographics change. We’re starting to see a lot of young people get into it. It is the fastest growing sport in North America,” said Jones.

In an effort to further their growth, the Pickleheads are aiming to refurbish four outdoor courts.

Jones and the rest of the executive team recently brought a presentation to the City of Spruce Grove asking for support on the project in March. They are awaiting a decision on the matter.

“We want to be able to apply to host the national pickleball championships. If we can get the courts refurbished we want to apply for 2021,” said Jones.

He added Further down the line, the Pickleheads hope to have an indoor home in addition to their outdoor base of operations at the ballpark.

 

Content retrieved from: https://www.sprucegroveexaminer.com/sports/local-sports/pickleheads-continue-growth-in-2019.

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