Rachelle Stein-Wotten

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

Pickleball enthusiasts as well as the pickleball curious now have more opportunity to play on Gabriola following a new schedule set up by the Gabriola Recreation Society and Gabriola Pickleball Committee at the Huxley Community Park sport courts.

Kyle Clifford, president of the recreation society, said the sport is growing on Gabriola and is pleased that the society and the committee could work together to figure out how to accommodate more scheduled hours for pickleball players given the limited courts on the island while still supporting demand for organized basketball and road hockey as well as first-come, first-served availability.“I have always been a strong advocate for more indoor and outdoor recreation facilities on Gabriola as the recent master planning exercise clearly indicates Gabriola is under serviced.”

Clifford said. “The GRS has recently held learn to play pickleball classes in the school gymnasium and expect some of those participants to become regular players.”

Jeanne McNaughton with the pickleball committee said the group has over 80 active players between the ages of 13 and 90 on the island.

“We are playing seven days a week with a mix of mornings, afternoons and evenings,” McNaughton said. “I think it’s a great schedule that can likely accommodate everyone.”

The introductory classes run by the recreation society have increased the community of players; off-island players also come over in the summer, McNaughton said.

The play schedule is on the recreation society’s website, www.gabriolarecreation.org/facilities-schedule, and a sign will be posted at Huxley Park soon.

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