There were plenty of happy faces at the tennis courts in Parksville Qualicum Beach that re-opened on Friday, May 22.
Avid pickleballers and tennis players have been looking forward to this day since the courts were closed more than two months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have been waiting for a couple of months,” said Dwight Lorenz, who was out with friends playing pickleball at the Parksville Community Park courts.
“I have been checking here in the last month. I am eager to be back playing again. It just happened this morning so once the word spreads, there will be a lot of people here. “
There were four pickleball nets that were set up in one of the courts with approximately 15 players.
“People are using their own nets,” said Lorenz. “It has nothing to do with our club or anything. People just show up and play with whatever services we have here.”
Players were conscious about social distancing and have taken some precautions like disinfecting the ball that they use after a game and also using hand sanitizers. Some players also wore gloves.
“In pickleball, distancing is fine,” said Lorenz. “Here we have the two metres typically. You can see everybody. It’s just the way the game is played. You never come in contact with anybody or anything like that. If you right-handed and you pick up the ball with your left hand and you have a glove on it, it should be OK. Most people are wearing gloves.”
At Springwood Park, husband and wife Vic and Debra Jensen said once they knew the courts were now available they didn’t waste coming out to play tennis.
“It’s our favourite tennis court,” said Vic, who indicated that they’ve had opportunities to play at the Bowser tennis courts. “There were late opening these court because Nanaimo’s courts were already opened, Victoria, the Lower Mainland.
“It’s nice to finally have this place open,” said Debra.
At the Qualicum Beach tennis courts, a casual doubles game was being played.
Ada Sarsiat, president of Arrowsmith Tennis Club, said people are simply happy to be out.
“We’re just happy to play and it will be a while before club events will take place,” said Sarsiat.
Users of the tennis courts in Parksville Qualicum Beach are reminded that they are for casual play only and no organized teams are allowed. Also clearly mark equipment and refrain from touching other people’s items. Sharing racquets, water bottles or any other sports equipment is not allowed. Each player is also advised to bring their own hand sanitizer.