A Tri-City organization that aims to grow the sport of pickleball is hosting an event in Coquitlam this evening (June 16).
The PoCoMo Pickleball Club has endured a pilot campaign at Bramble Park (2775 Panorama Dr.) the past two weeks that invites residents to participate and learn about the game dubbed as the "fastest-growing" sport in North America.
It's the final chapter of a current trial period that, if well-received, could potentially see the park's three tennis courts turn into six pickleball courts.
"The pickleball trial may be extended and semi-permanent pickleball nets may be installed, resulting in tennis play being redirected to the newly resurfaced Panorama and Eagle Ridge courts," the city explains in a description on its website.
Tonight's "try-it" session takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. and COVID-19 health safety protocols are expected.
SPORT CAUSING A RACKET?
The city of Coquitlam's pilot project on pickleball also comes two months after a decision was made in Port Moody to get rid of the lines marked for the sport in Chestnut Way Park.
It came as a result of a number of complaints from neighbours claiming the sound of the rackets and whiffle balls were causing stress, fatigue and anxiety.
Around mid-April, Port Moody city council heard from Brian Krieger — one of the neighbours that campaigned for the courts to be removed — and claimed during the time the six pickleball courts were implemented on the tennis courts at the small 2.43-acre park, he and others were subjected to noise disruptions.
“These games are loud, and the courts are far too close to the neighbours,” Krieger said.
In fact, he even produced results of a study by Spendarian and Willis Acoustics and Noise Control in Arizona that’s worked on noise abatement projects for pickleball courts. It said the “impulsive” sound of racquets striking balls affected concentration and created an inability for people to relax or sleep.
Beverly McQuitty, another resident, explained the sound of a pickleball game in progress is harsher and much more disruptive than the soft thwack of a tennis match.
“Pickleball is a very different noise,” she said, “a sharp noise that’s disturbing everybody.”
PoCoMo Pickleball Club president Julie McRitchie said the sport’s noise can be disturbing to some people, but also explained it's more challenging to find places to play away from nearby homes.
“It’s becoming more all-ages,” she told Tri-City News in an earlier interview. “Youth development is gaining a lot of ground.”
Indoor options at community centres have been restricted by COVID-19 public health closures to limit transmission.
After the decision came to remove the court lines, Port Moody council began the process of finding other suitable locations.
- with files from Mario Bartel, Tri-City News