In Castlegar we are lucky to have beautiful tennis courts. The courts are kept busy with local ladies playing every morning during the spring, summer and fall. A men’s tennis league plays every Wednesday night and men in this league have pick-up games during the week. Many families take part especially on the weekends, as well as college students.
My reason for writing this letter is other sports readily abuse our tennis courts. Tennis courts have a special finish and made for tennis only. At any time of day one can arrive at the tennis court and find a hockey team (coach included) working out, or a skate boarder zooming around or boys with a puck, sticks, and hockey net playing a game.
It is ignorance that is causing this to happen. Coaches and parents need to teach the children and young adults to respect another sports playing area. No way does someone dream of doing hockey workouts or taking soccer practice on the golf course so why should a tennis court be any different.
Additionally, there is an even larger threat looming over our tennis courts. Rumours are circulating that the pickleball players would like to take over another one of our tennis courts for their game of pickleball. They have already annexed the downtown tennis courts, and are now gunning for our uptown courts, next to the Recreation Centre.
Just because a pickleball court surface is similar to a tennis court surface does not make pickleball compatible to be played near or around a tennis court. The differences are that on a tennis court there is a maximum of four players, while on the same court one can fit 16 pickleball participants.
The noise level of pickleball with the combination of the pong sound of the racquet hitting the ball, and the extra people, make it totally incompatible with tennis. Tennis cannot be played comfortably next to a pickleball game.
Many people in this area have not experienced the game of pickleball, so my fear is that those on the city council who make such decisions will not have had enough experience of the two games to make an appropriate decision.
The grown-up, adult Castlegar pickleball players should be totally ashamed and embarrassed to be attempting to take over another sports playing area. The old time tennis players worked hard over the years to get tennis courts in Castlegar and no other sport should be able to just walk in and blatantly take over another sport’s hard won space.
Raise your own funds and build your own proper pickleball courts instead of sneakily politicking to take over another sports playing area.
The tennis courts have been built for tennis, and I ask all other sport and especially pickleballers to find and play on your own playing field.