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LETTER: Parksville needs dedicated pickleball courts

‘One of the largest sports groups’ in the city

I read the recent article in the PQB News outlining the City of Parksville’s plan to upgrade the existing beach volleyball facility in the Parksville Community Park.

I wondered if the announcement could be an indication or interpreted as a positive sign for the pickleball stakeholders group who have been advocating to city council for nearly six years to have dedicated pickleball courts built in Parksville.

Two clubs operate, during reserved hours, six days per week in the Community Park through the summer months.

Parksville Oceanside Pickleball Society set up six temporary nets in the lacrosse box. OPC Pickleball Club set up eight temporary nets on the old tennis courts.

In the intervening years, the Arrowsmith Tennis Club advised city council that they did not require the two tennis courts in the park, citing their court facility at Springwood. Similarly, the lacrosse players user group advised council that they had no objections with sharing the facility with a pickleball club.

There are more than 1,000 people who play pickleball and it is, arguably, one of the largest sports groups in Parksville, in spite of the fact there are no dedicated pickleball courts.

The numbers continue to grow each year. There has been a proven, longstanding interest in pickleball and for dedicated courts to be constructed to accommodate this large user group.

So I pose this question: Was the announcement by the City of Parksville to upgrade the existing volleyball facility a positive sign that the city would create a pickleball facility?

After advocating for nearly six years, the answer is no.

The city has boldly decided it will modify one existing tennis court in the Community Park into four pickleball courts, despite the fact two pickleball clubs set up 14 temporary nets to meet current demands.

Brian Alexander

Nanoose Bay

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