A group of Pickleballers gathered on Tuesday

Pickleball swings into Central Alberta

The game combines elements of tennis, ping-pong and badminton, and puts people in singles or doubles competition.

A new sport is springing up all over Central Alberta.

Pickleball, which was originally invented in the 1960s as a kid’s backyard game, has now become a global phenomenon that has caught on with people of all ages due to not only its ease of access, but also the competitiveness, activeness and fun involved.

The game combines elements of tennis, ping-pong and badminton, and puts people in singles or doubles competition in indoor or outdoor settings.

Sylvan Lake Recreation Department Official Jordan Naturkach started a Pickleball club after receiving several emails asking for this sport to be made available.

“It’s easy to start a program up when you have interest from the community,” he said. “Before our first day we had 10-12 people saying they were interested so that makes it easy knowing that you will have people out consistently.

The program runs on three newly painted courts outside in the outdoor arena grounds behind the Sylvan Lake Community Centre and runs Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until noon,and Wednesdays from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

“We wanted to provide evening time for families and people who work during the day to come out and try it,” Naturkach said.

The program is free of charge and Pickleball equipment was purchased through Red Deer Pickleball supplies which is the ambassador for the sport in Central Alberta.

Although the game is easily accessible for seniors, Naturkach stressed that anyone at any age and of any skill level should come out and give the game a try.

“It is definitely a game for everyone,” he said. “It is easy to get into and we have staff willing to teach people the game.

So far the turnout has been “really good”, according to Naturkach and if you would like more information about the sport you can email him at jnaturkach@sylvanlake.com



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