No, pickleball is not the “savior sport” for seniors nor was it sent directly from God. However, it is “player friendly” for seniors.
One is able to play it at many levels, thus making it very appealing. The fact that one can have a number of volleys (hits over the net) after the serve makes for an interesting sport. There are tennis courts available and gymnasiums in schools that have badminton courts, allowing for outdoor and indoor venues.
The SSFA (Saskatchewan Senior Fitness Association) has had pickleball clinics or contacts with the following places in the Parkland Valley District: Ituna, Foam Lake, Yorkton, Esterhazy, Buchanan, Langenburg, Grayson, Sturgis, Good Spirit Provincial Park and Duck Mountain Provincial Park. Some of these communities have ongoing programs so check with local town office if you are interested.
As well, a beginner’s course will be held at the Gloria Hayden Community Centre in Yorkton January 18, 2020, and an intermediate course the week before. You can check with Julia at the GHCC for particulars. For those of you who enjoy the sport, you would be able to travel to many other venues in the province. This could be for a drop-in program or district or provincial tournament.
The sport of pickleball is growing in Saskatchewan. Pickleball Saskatchewan Inc. has over 1,200 registered members with 91 per cent being over 55 years of age. There are many people who are not registered pickleball members and we encourage you to pay the $15 to become a member. You can register at www.pickleballcanada.org. Why should one? At this point it would help to grow the sport even further. With numbers we can apply for funding from Sask. Lotteries. When one registers you are “kept in the loop” of any type of pickleball event in the area, province and country.
I suspect that with any new sport or event there will be a levelling off of the numbers. There is no indication that we have peaked with pickleball as of yet. I also believe that this is not a sport that will quickly fade in popularity. As I said in the opening, pickleball is “player friendly” to seniors and there are venues in the area that can handle the sport. However, Yorkton is starting to “max out” at the Gloria Hayden Community Centre. It is hoped that Yorkton and other centres will look at pickleball specific courts more seriously. This will allow for better enjoyment of the sport by local seniors and make it more enticing for players from other centres to come to play.
In any case, seniors in the Parkland Valley District are having fun playing pickleball. See you on the courts!