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LETTER: Pickleball nothing to complain about

So many people love the game of pickleball. Others complain about it.

There are four wonderful courts on Birch Road. All play is during daytime hours, yet a handful of people complain and call bylaw officers… to a park… during daytime hours where players are enjoying a fun game involving a variety of skills.

The Victoria area has some stellar pickleball players. Some were tennis pros, others have played for years, and a young generation is joining the ranks. Many are competitive players who have won major tournaments in both Canada and the United States.

What pickleball players find challenging is finding courts. Players do their best to share the few available, whether to just have fun or to keep up the skills necessary to continue competing at a high level. Our area would certainly benefit from a good facility such as the ones in Kelowna and Vernon.

In general, our parks are to be enjoyed by all. While some are baseball destinations, others are more for soccer, basketball, or skateboarding. Some are dedicated playgrounds and some hold pickleball courts. Whatever the activity, there will be ‘noise’. Participants will laugh, maybe even yell, and spectators (well, except for this COVID time) will cheer. It’s daytime.

Park employees keep them neat and tidy, so lawnmowers and whipper snappers can be heard. Noise, it’s everywhere people are.

Yet, because of very few, pickleball is restricted in hours on Birch Road more than elsewhere: when to start, when to stop, what day of the week it’s allowed to start at 9 and when it’s not, when it’s allowed to go on til 4 or not. These are not regular park hours.

The park is huge. It could become a designated camp for the homeless for instance. It could hold a big indoor pickleball facility. It could be a lot of things, but for now, it’s a big space for people to enjoy.

North Saanich council has done well to push aside an issue that is truly not a problem. They have more pressing business to attend to.

Dee Raimbault

Saanichton