Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Alberta 55+ Provincial Pickleball Playoffs

The inaugural Alberta 55+ Provincial Pickleball Playoffs in Sherwood Park on Aug 22 for the Canada 55+ Games in 2014:  Pickleball barrels into Games
By Shane Jones, Sherwood Park News
Event organizer Linda Dane wasn’t gherkin around when she indicated that pickleball has really grown in recent years.

“Pickleball might be the fastest-growing sport in North America,” she said. “It’s very easy for people to learn and for people of all ages to play. People from eight to 80 are playing it, as we all saw at the upper age range of seniors for our tournament. It’s something that is now being included in the curriculum at schools. It can be played indoors in any gym or outdoors on tennis courts. We used tape and made temporary courts for our tournament and fit two pickleball courts on each tennis court.
“It’s just growing exponentially. In 2009 there was virtually no pickleball in Alberta and now I would hazard a guess that there are 1,000 to 1,500 players. It’s just gone crazy. In the Edmonton area I would say we have 300 to 400 players alone.”
Dane was thrilled with the turnout and how the recent Pickleball Provincials in the Park came off in general.  “We were very happy,” she said. “It has taken three years to get pickleball into the Canada 55+ Games, but now that it is we had just a fantastic turnout.”
“We weren’t included in the recent Alberta 55+ Games because we are considered a brand new sport, so we had to do our own thing to make sure Alberta would be in the national games next year,” Dane added. “Everything just went perfectly, and it was a nice way to kind of kick off next year’s games by having the provincials in Strathcona County.”
The Canada 55+ Games will take place from Aug. 27 to 30, 2014 in Strathcona County, AB.

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