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, MLA Kirkfield Park
July 8, 2013

The Rising Tide of Pickleball

Mr. Speaker, keeping active plays a huge part in a healthy lifestyle for people of all ages. Pickleball is a new sport that is gaining popularity in Kirkfield Park. Pickleball is fun and challenging, but still inclusive of different athletic abilities.

Created in the 1960s, Pickleball was named after a dog named Pickles and has gotten exponentially more popular in the last few years. The game is played on badminton-sized courts with large rackets that look like over-sized ping-pong paddles. Pickleball Canada’s slogan is “A game for all,” and Pickleball really is inclusive of many different abilities. The sport combines the basic principles of racquet sports, but with longer volleys and fewer opportunities to smash the ball, which makes it competitive but still family-friendly.

Kirkfield Park residents have greatly contributed to the rise in Pickleball’s popularity. The number of Pickleball enthusiasts in west Winnipeg has grown five times over in the last two years alone. Pickleball players have demonstrated the sport at the Manitoba Senior Games and at community clubs around Winnipeg to encourage other families and seniors to explore this inclusive sport.

It can sometimes be a challenge to find enough outdoor space to play, but the Woodhaven Community Club and Kirkfield-Westwood Community Centre have led the charge to accommodate players by painting Pickleball lines alongside the traditional tennis lines on their outdoor courts. In the winter our local churches and community centres open up their gyms and basements for Pickleball enthusiasts.

Mr. Speaker, a healthy, active lifestyle helps individuals of all ages to be more meaningfully involved in their communities. I would like to recognize Pickleball enthusiasts in Kirkfield Park for helping promote fun, fitness and friendship in our neighbourhood.