- The Scoop - 

May 2021


Table of Content

Past President’s Message

Pickleball Canada’s AGM - May 19,2021

PCO Welcomes Carla Anderson

RA Develops a Dedicated Centre and Welcomes Pickleball Canada

Speakin’ With Deakin

Referee’s Corner

Wayne’s World

The Next Generation

Introducing Young People to Pickleball

The pickleball tipping point

Marlys Lein

Canada Day Giveaway Alert


Past President’s Message

Hi all. A lot has been happening at the national level since my last update to you. I’ll give an update on 2 of our Strategic Plan initiatives, along with some other items, hopefully of interest.

Strategic Plan item (2 of 17)

Develop, activate, and support community pickleball NETworks/ hubs for children & youth, and other underrepresented populations.

PCO is actively engaging club representatives across Canada to gather best practices for all things club related; from setting up a club organization, to banking, to running programs. Pat Morrision is leading this initiative. Club level and drop-in play are the grass roots of our organization and where most of our members enjoy the sport.

Also within this initiative is Youth, and simply defined - the future of our sport. I am proud to announce that Elaine Roy has assumed the role of National Youth Coordinator, and will be developing and implementing strategies aimed at growing the youth segment of our population. I am quite impressed with the strategies she has developed for her Youth Portfolio with the Federation quebecoise de pickleball.

Launch, enhance and sustain the National System.

The Pickleball Canada National System (PCNS) is up and running, with a systematic roll-out across Canada. PCNS consists of Content Management (website), Membership Management, and coming on later is Event Management and other features. All provincial and territorial organizations are on the PCNS, except for Alberta (scheduled for June 1, 2021) and Quebec (planned for summer 2021). The committee, comprised of representatives from each province and Yukon and led by Kirk Jensen, has done a phenomenal job in bringing the PCNS into production. Per Kirk, one byproduct is that there is increased dialogue between and among all levels, from individuals, clubs, provinces/territories to the National, which is great to see.

Agreement with Pickleball Brackets

PCO and Pickleball Brackets have just reached an agreement for discounted pricing for their tournament software, ladder and league tools, and ratings engine (for both club level and competitive play). As a general philosophy PCO is moving away from self ratings and subjective ratings, and towards performance based rating numbers. Ratings based on results removes any human judgement out of the equation, and hopefully less disputes regarding skill levels as the results will speak for themselves.

Also, PCO will be setting up the official competition based national rating system within Pickleball Brackets, called the Canadian Tournament Player Rating (CTPR). The CTPR will be used for all PCO sanctioned tournaments, to place and seed players, and the game and match results will then affect the CTPR number. We benchmarked a number of ratings companies and we felt Pickleball Brackets best suited our needs.

Sport Tourism

More and more cities and municipalities are realizing that sport tourism can be a great boost to their local economy, and those entities are also realizing the growth in popularity of pickleball. This was evidenced by my participation in a recent Sport Tourism Canada web-based speed dating event, where my alloted appointment slots (15) filled up very quickly. Suffice it to say that there are at least 15 cities across Canada that are keenly interested in hosting a major pickleball tournament, be it Nationals, Regionals, Provincials/Territorials, or others. I mentioned that one of the biggest constraints to our growth is the lack of facilities, and many mentioned their plans to add courts, which is great news. In addition to the social and physical benefits of our sport, businesses and communities are realizing there are economic benefits impacted by our sport as well.

Personal Note

I have been in administrative positions supporting our great sport, and have devoted a great deal of my time, for the last 5 years. I feel now is the time to hang \'em up and devote more of my time to family, friends, hobbies, and, oh yes...playing pickleball more than talking about it. As such, I will be stepping down from the President position as of the May 2021 AGM. I look forward to seeing more of you on the courts.

Jim Parrott
Past President



Pickleball Canada’s AGM - May 19,2021

Thank you to the over 75 people who attended Pickleball Canada’s AGM May 19th, 2021. We continue to share and learn as we develop Pickleball in Canada.

Congratulations goes out to our new Board of directors for 2021-2022.

Kirk Jensen ~ President
Karen Rust ~ VP Operations & Treasurer
Tony Casey ~ VP Development
Karen Wallace ~ Secretary

Directors elected by PCO membership:
Dave Best
Cara Button
Robert Hogue
Bryna Kopelow
Bill MacGregor
Jim Parrott
Élaine Roy
Rose Sawatzky
Ted Sherback

Appointed Regional Reps:
France Emery
Deanna Hanes
Pat Morrison



Pickleball Canada Welcomes Carla Anderson

Pickleball Canada is very pleased to announce that Carla Anderson has been appointed its inaugural Executive Director.

Carla brings 31 years of senior management experience to the pickleball system. She was the Director of Games for the Canadian Olympic Committee, Executive Director of Taekwondo Canada, and Special Project Coordinator for the Sport Information Resource Centre.

Carla will lead the implementation of specific objectives of the Strategic Plan, ensure the effective and efficient day-to-day functioning of PCO operations, liaise with Sport Canada to understand, and work towards meeting the requirements for funding, and focus on communications and revenue generation.

Carla’s passion for sport and her track record of getting things done will be critical as pickleball evolves to being a sport for all, for life.

We are delighted to welcome Carla Anderson to Pickleball Canada’s national leadership team.



Pickleball is Taking Centre Court as the RA Develops a Dedicated Centre and Welcomes Pickleball Canada into the House of Sport

(Ottawa, ON) May 18, 2021 – The RA (Recreation Association of the Public Service of Canada) is excited to announce the development of a pickleball centre at the main campus on Riverside Drive by refurbishing 13,500 square feet into a seven-court pickleball only centre. This innovative project supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Grant, will assist in the RA’s long-term recovery by helping to build capacity and resiliency in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Beginning Fall 2021, the RA will offer a wide range of programs supporting the spectrum of participants in the Pickleball Canada Long-Term Player Development model. “Our new Pickleball Centre will tap into the growing excitement and demand for the sport in Ottawa and around the country,” shares Tosha Rhodenizer, RA Chief Executive Officer. “Pickleball is a sport that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of ages, abilities and skill levels.” Further, this unique venue will be capable of hosting a variety of local, provincial, national and international events and will create a “centre court” experience for the culmination of any tournament. As the renovations progress, the RA will offer opportunities for community members to join the new club. Please visit www.racentre.com/pickleball for more information.

Strengthening the RA’s growth in pickleball, will be the addition of Pickleball Canada in the House of Sport. The RA is delighted to welcome Pickleball Canada to the vibrant Canadian House of Sport community located at the RA Centre in Ottawa, a partnership that will not only help grow the sport at both grassroot and national levels, but will enhance the development of this new and unique facility. "Pickleball Canada is thrilled to now have a relationship with the RA Centre and the House of Sport,” shares Tony Casey, Vice President of Operations and Administration, Pickleball Canada.

In 2017, the RA re-developed 37,000 square feet of space to create an innovative, creative, open office environment called the House of Sport. The House of Sport brings a diverse collection of sport organizations, the majority of which are National Sport Organizations (NSOs) and Multi-Sports Organizations (MSOs) under one roof to share a facility where their individual needs are considered but also their co-location can result in positive energy and support. Carla Anderson, the recently appointed Executive Director of Pickleball Canada shares, “I look forward to re-connecting, learning and sharing within the House of Sport’s strong community of sport organizations. Being part of a diverse, dynamic and collaborative environment is going to be valuable for me and provide significant benefits for the national pickleball community. It\'s going to be great; these are exciting times!" The House of Sport encourages NSOs and MSOs to leverage their shared experiences to deliver increased quality in sport and improved performances nationally and internationally.

“The co-location of like-minded organizations offers opportunities for knowledge sharing, provides a critical mass to leverage operational efficiencies and creates flexibility for employees to meet, collaborate and support each other,” Rhodenizer adds. “By creating a shared environment, the House of Sport works to lower costs and create an administrative centre of excellence that is accessible and beneficial to all organizations regardless of their size.”

The House of Sport, a Canadian made sport hub offers an open concept community complemented by a wide range of services and meeting rooms. Other wrap-around services include Lunch & Learns and topic-based workshops as well as the development of a CEO table for shared learning of great relevance to organizational leaders. This is on top of the opportunity to collaborate with similar organizations and access health and wellness opportunities for staff members. The House of Sport is a community of support and practice within Ottawa that does not exist anywhere else in Canada.

"Joining the House of Sport will greatly assist in the growth and development of pickleball. In addition, we believe we can contribute to the strengthening of the overall system by helping to develop Canadian sport as welcoming, inclusive, accessible, and safe. We are keen and ready to support the planning of opportunities, that will be provided through the new RA Pickleball Centre,” says Casey.


Speakin’ With Deakin
Steve, how has Covid affected your play?

Most of you know that when Covid first hit, I, like most Canadians hunkered down and did what I thought was the best thing for my family - given the risk of having older relatives and a Dad that had battled Cancer twice. It definitely put a huge stall on my new business venture into pro Pickleball and coaching with no real end in sight. I had sold out clinics across Canada that coincided with my tournament schedule and I was really excited to help grow this awesome sport in my country.

The issue for me was when I saw that the U.S. was moving towards business as usual. All my Pro athlete peers were still competing state to state in tournaments while everything in Canada had been cancelled. I had refunded all of my clinic money, but then I was feeling left behind on tour. Given my age, I didn’t have much time to sit around, wait for nature to play out, and the world to open up again. I was hearing bleak timelines from people around me and like most, I had a mortgage to pay. My sponsorships do not pay if I don’t play, so relying on the Canadian Government was ok for the first couple months, but then I needed to get back to what I do best.

I made the decision to head stateside and fire up again last September. That allowed me to once again pay the bills and stay relevant with my peers. Problem solved? Not by a long shot. As America loosened...Canada tightened and I did not have a work visa yet to rely on. A bit of a pickle (pun intended). Returning home became problematic as the 14 day quarantine period interfered with my tournament schedule and the Government just didn’t consider my job essential. It was most definitely essential to me and my family but by Pandemic standards...not so much. I could no longer teach or compete in Canada and coming home began to get more difficult. To complicate things further, a mandatory 3 day
hotel stay was then added on top of everything which was another cost not accounted for.

This Pandemic has affected everyone and in very different ways. Sadly, many have lost loved ones from this illness. I’m grateful to be Canadian and I’m proud of the way our Government has handled most aspects of this extremely difficult and unprecedented pandemic. Their decisions have certainly minimized the death toll in comparison to the U.S and for that we should all be thankful. It is simply sheer luck or misfortune that my career happens to be tied predominantly to the United States. I’ve had to navigate things very carefully in order to continue making a decent living. I’ve been exposed to Covid a couple of times quite heavily but have managed to dodge the virus and for that I’m feeling incredibly fortunate. I’ve spent far too much time in quarantine over the last year but all in all I’ve found that I’m pretty damn good at Crib and Gin Rummy!


Referee’s Corner
How well do you know the Rules
and The 2021 Rule Changes?
- Alan Thomson, PCO/USAP, Certified Referee

There have been many articles, YouTube videos, and Zoom sessions dealing with the new rules. Whether you’re a Player or Referee you should find these questions fairly easy. If not, you may have some more reading to do!

Referees must have an excellent knowledge of all the rules. Players should have a good basic knowledge of the rules, at a minimum. I have seen many games/matches that have been lost because players did not understand the rule or the action that they could have taken.

  • True or False – The server can start their service motion while the Referee is calling the score.

  • Until what Point in Time can a player call a Time Out, without incurring a penalty?
    • a) Before the Ref starts calling the score
    • b) Before the Ref completes calling the score
    • c) Before the server hits the ball to make the serve
    • d) After the Ref has called the complete score

  • True or False - When the opposing team makes a side out, the Starting Sever (player with the ID) will always serve first.

  • True or False – Line calls are an important part of the Referees job, and they should always follow the flight of the ball so that they can make a call when asked.

  • True or False – A receiver, who has a foot extending beyond the side- line when they return the serve, will be deemed to have committed a fault.

  • True or False – A player will have committed a fault if they serve the ball prior to the Referee calling the score.

  • If a Line Judge or Referee sees a ball that is mostly out, i.e. does not touch the line, but does overlap the line, it must be called IN for 2021.

  • The Referee calls the score and your partner serves the ball. While it is being returned to you, you realize that the Referee called the wrong score. As you swing and hit the ball into the net, you say, “Ref that’s the wrong score. The Referee calls “fault,” but you argue that the score was incorrect, and the rally should be replayed.
    Who is correct, the Referee or You (the Player)?

  • True or False - If you do something to cause the Referee to issue you a Technical Fault, a point will be subtracted from your score as long as you don’t have zero.

  • True or False – It is legal to serve the ball by lifting it up in your non-paddle hand, and while your hand is moving upward you release the ball, then allow it to bounce, and hit it over the net.


  • True or False – The server can start their service motion while the Referee is calling the score. (As long as contact with the ball is made after the complete score has been called.)

  • Until what Point in Time can a player call a Time Out, without incurring a penalty?
    • a) Before the Ref starts calling the score
    • b) Before the Ref completes calling the score
    • c) Before the server hits the ball to make the serve
    • d) After the Ref has called the complete score
      (Referees must ensure that they are watching the serve, while at the same time listening for anyone to ask a question or call T/O prior to the server’s paddle making contact with the ball to initiate the serve. NB: After the Referee starts to call the score, any not ready signals are to be ignored.)

  • True or False - When the opposing team makes a side out, the Starting Sever (player with the ID) will always serve first. (After a side out the first server is determined by the score, and whether it is odd or even.)

  • True or False – Line calls are an important part of the Referees job, and they should always follow the flight of the ball so that they can make a call when asked. (Referees are taught to watch the NVZ for foot faults and other violations and not follow the flight of the ball, especially when the ball has been volleyed.)

  • True or False – A receiver, who has a foot extending beyond the side- line when they return the serve, will be deemed to have committed a fault. (The Receiver can stand anywhere they like when returning the serve, there are no restrictions, as long as the correct receiver returns it and the 2 bounce rule is followed.)

  • True or False – A player will have committed a fault if they serve the ball prior to the Referee calling the score. (A fault cannot be called when the ball is Dead.” The ball become “Live” at the point in time the Referee starts to call the score!

  • True or False - If a Line Judge or Referee sees a ball that is mostly out, i.e. does not touch the line, but does overlap the line, it must be called IN for 2021. (Line Judges and Referees are impartial and are to call the lines as they see them. A ball that does not touch the line is OUT. A ball that is close to the line and cannot be 100% deter- mined to be OUT, is to be considered IN. During un-officiated play where players are responsible for making line calls, they are being asked to give the opponents the benefit of doubt on any balls that are close to the line and where doubt exists. If you do not see space between the ball and the line, consider it IN and make the play.

  • The Referee calls the score and your partner serves the ball. While it is being returned to you, you realize that the Referee called the wrong score. As you swing and hit the ball into the net, you say, “Ref that’s the wrong score. The Referee calls “fault,” but you argue that the score was incorrect, and the rally should be replayed.
    Who is correct, the Referee or You (the Player)? You have until contact with the ball is made to make the 3rd shot return, to question an incorrect score. If incorrect, Replay, if correct, Fault. If you stop play after the 3rd shot is made, Fault

  • True or False - If you do something to cause the Referee to issue you a Technical Fault, a point will be subtracted from your score as long as you don’t have zero. (This now puts the onus on the offending team to switch sides to ensure they are correctly aligned with the score)

  • True or False – It is legal to serve the ball by lifting it up in your non-paddle hand, and while your hand is moving upward you release the ball, then allow it to bounce, and hit it over the net. (No motion (energy) can be added to a ball that is going to be served with the new provisional Drop Serve. When released with the arm in motion, the ball will still be moving in an upward motion, after it’s release. NB: This is the most common mistake that I have seen by players attempting the Drop Serve! Raise your hand with the ball in it, and simply release the ball, allowing gravity to take over.


Wayne’s World

I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy! However, I’ll do my best to provide interesting and educational content. I’d like to thank everyone at ‘The Scoop’ and especially to Linda Jefferies for this amazing opportunity to share my points of view with our readers in this regular feature

Pickleball – Fun and Challenging, with a Touch of Magic
- Opinion by Wayne Kerr

Beginners can often learn the fundamentals of pickleball and be
playing matches within an hour, while enthusiasts at every level never stop striving to improve. The beauty of pickleball to me is the quirkiness of the game. How often do we see a beginner, or an expert, make two or three amazing shots only to then miss the simple one? The smile and laughter quotient of this game is quite high at every level.

When you show up at courts to play for the first time you will inevitably be asked, “What level are you?” If you are new to the sport just say so. If you have been playing for a while, but not in a club or any tournaments you may not know your skill level. The following is a guide to the levels and how to achieve the next one. The levels range from one to five. A level one player has difficulty controlling the ball while a level five player has an expert level of skill that most will never achieve.

A level one player is new to the sport. These beginners are learning the rules, how to stroke the ball and may have a tough time keeping it in play. It usually takes a short time for these players to transition to level two.

Level two players know most of the basic rules and can keep the ball in play, but little or no strategy is employed other than getting the ball back over the net as often as possible. As their understanding of strategy and ball control improves these players transition to the 2.5 level.

The difference between the 2.5 level and 3.0 is primarily placement and power. Dinking skills have improved. The 3.0 player tends to hit deep serves and returns. They also understand the advantage of being at the kitchen (Non-Volley Zone ‘NVZ’) line and can hit put away shots when the opportunity arises. Players who come into pickleball with previous racquet sport experience will often be at this level within an hour or two of play.

Moving from 3.0 to 3.5 comes with better ball control and the addition of spins. A 3.5 serves and returns serve quite well. They have learned that hitting the ball hard is often not the best thing to do. Dinking starts to play a bigger part in the game, though not as often as it could or should. Players at this level are usually adding the 3rd shot drop to their game. Strategy has become part of the game for most 3.5s. They are intentionally exploiting opponent weaknesses and targeting openings. Most players with practice and determination can achieve this level of play.

Generally, the difference between a 3.5 and 4.0 player is the ability to construct points and purposely employ soft play. Both 3.5s and 4.0s can drive the ball and dink proficiently. A 3.5 can level up to 4.0 once they routinely hit unattackable 3rd shot drops and regularly defend against opponents’ attacks. The path from 3.5 to 4.0 is filled with practice. Getting better at 3rd shot drops and defense happens through repetition. Another way to improve is to work on the weaker parts of your game while you play. Does it really matter who wins a recreational game? Try to get more balls into the kitchen. Improve by playing to the stronger player on the other side of the net. Winning is nice but improving is more important. Challenge yourself and you will improve.

A good 4.0 player can execute all the shots. So, what then is the difference between a 4.0 and a 4.5? The answer includes consistency,
ball placement and anticipation. Plus, a 4.5 is able to routinely reset the point back to neutral when their opponent has the advantage. They play smart pickleball, almost always hitting the right shot at the right time. This doesn’t sound that difficult, but it takes discipline. Pickleball is a complicated game at the upper levels. There is a lot going on during a point. Keeping the ball deep when your opponents are back, then keeping it low and short when they are up at the NVZ. Noting where the forehands and backhands are and whose paddles are up or down. Paying attention to your opponent’s court positioning while keeping track of where your partner is. Watching for openings while protecting the vulnerable areas on your own side of the net. Being aware of opposition tendencies, while staying alert for surprises. All of these things and more, plus being ready to attack or counter the next ball.

If a 4.5 can pretty much do it all, what makes a 5.0 player? A very high level of skill, obviously. These players have put everything together in their games: power, placement, patience and have seemingly added a little touch of magic. They see the whole court and instinctively seem to know what their opponents are capable of doing with any given ball. I added magic to the mix because physical assets such as long limbs, being fleet of foot or possessing amazingly quick hands are definite assets, but not all 5.0s have these. In fact, some 5.0 players have none of these gifts. Short, tall, athletic, or not, anyone can play and even master this quirky sport.

Very few of us will reach the 5.0 level and that is okay because pickleball truly is fun at every level.

Party on my pickleball friends!


The Next Generation
Canadian Junior Players

Meet Louis-Charles Amyot, 18 years young, from Blainville, Quebec and one of Canada’s rising junior star players!!

Louis-Charles is sponsored by Selkirk, PB Sport and Tennis 13 and has a sports background in hockey, tennis and basketball.

Louis-Charles was introduced to the game of pickleball at the age of 14. He entered his first tournament shortly thereafter; an ambitious 4.0 level and was victorious. It was then that he realized that this was a sport that sparked both his interest and abilities. He entered more and more tournaments in Quebec and then travelled to Ontario to extend his calibre of playing.

Louis-Charles is most proud of his gold medal win at the World Pickleball Championships in 2019 where he played in the 5.0 Open in Singles at 16 years of age.

Please join PCO in wishing Louis-Charles the best of luck in his rising career - you are already a winner to us!


Introducing Young People to Pickleball
Using the IPTPA Workshop Training Program
by Sheila Senger Yukon Pickleball Association

When I completed the IPTPA “Teach the Teacher” workshop with Brooke Siver on February 1, 2020 in Whitehorse, Yukon, I decided to try out my training experience with young people and contacted one of our local high schools.

We arranged to run four weekly classes in February and to teach two Grade 10 classes back to back. I asked a fellow member Chris McKay, who had also taken the IPTPA “Train the Teacher” workshop if she would like to help me train the students. We both then coerced our pickleball playing husbands to come along and help us. They were the ball boys!

First Class:
We brought along four pickleball nets as the school only had badminton nets which they lowered for pickleball. We also brought along extra paddles and balls. The school was using small wooden paddles and outdoor balls.

We started our first class with the PE teacher leading a warm up and then we lined up the students for eye/hand drills, basic rules, stroke fundamentals, the dink shot and ended with 10 minutes of “Dinking Wars” which was a hit with the students. We had to keep score for them.

We noticed that the boys tended to stay together as did the girls. I also noticed that there were a few who had good physical literacy.

We also had an interesting opportunity when we noticed one female student who appeared to be very shy and unsure about being in the class. She would stand off in the back and appeared unsure about coming forward and playing with others. We learned she was autistic so we tried to be encouraging and helpful by providing her with one-on-one lessons and encouraging her when she attempted her shots and succeeded in completing her shots. We also encouraged the other students to play with and to be patient with her.

We told the students at the end of the class that they needed to practice so that we could move on to the next level in the following week. Chris and I agreed that the students were catching on quicker than we thought so we would try to get them to play a short game the following week.

Second Class:
Our prepared plan for this day was a quick review of the rules, a dinking warm up, the FH ground stroke, the BH Ground Stroke, Serve and Return. We gave a demo of each each stroke and then had students practice. I noticed excitement in the students faces when we told them that Chris and I and our husbands were going to demonstrate a short game to two points. They cheered when one of us got a point. After the demo all four of us took a group of four and had the students play a short game to four points.

At the end of the session I asked the students “How did today go, and did you enjoy that?” One boy in particular yelled “That was fantastic”. Others said Awesome, Amazing, Great, and everyone gave us high fives. We told the students that we would be introducing a few more skills next week and on week four we would plan a mini tournament. As I was leaving the gym another PE teacher who happened to be running a basketball session on the other half of the screened gym approached me and said he wished he could get in on this.

Third Class:
Students from the first class arrived at 8:30 a.m. and immediately picked up paddles, balls and went to the nets and wall to warm up. I was amazed at their enthusiasm. Once we went through all the formal reviews from the previous week we then told them they would be introduced to the third drop shot and the punch volley.

Fourth Class:
I went to The Dollar Store and bought two trophies and a bunch of bronze, silver and gold medals and glued a pickleball on the top of each trophy in my prep for the tournament.Students arrived early for each class and seemed pumped that they were having a tournament. A few of the teams had some amazing rallys. Excitement rose at the end of each game to see who was moving up. The girls were scoring more points than the boys.

Each class ended up having semi-finals with medals handed out. The trophies were used for the final game for each class. Unfortunately we were not able to get group photos because the students had to run off to their next class. The teachers presented us with gifts and thank you cards from the students.

The one comment on a card that I loved was “Thank you for turning us into pickleball Gods.

Both Chris and I agreed it was a great experience and we would both do it again.


The pickleball tipping point
By Dave Harris

Like many cities from Bonavista to Vancouver Island, the nation’s capital is at a familiar place in its “pickleball journey”.

From the early days of returning snowbirds playing on driveways or public tennis courts to the launch of the Ottawa Pickleball Association (“OPA”), Ottawa is now at or beyond its pickleball tipping point.

Most pickleball sessions at city recreation centres are at full capacity (sometimes hours in advance), with fierce competition to grab one of the available spots. The OPA routinely has to cap membership, as well as registration for its various pickleball leagues, due to higher demand than available supply. The OPA struggles to find suitable, affordable places to run its leagues. Temporary pickleball lines are being added to permanent tennis courts. While a helpful short-term solution, this ultimately exacerbates the underlying problem by creating even more pickleball demand, while taking court time away from nearby tennis players, creating a natural friction between the two groups.

Municipal recreational infrastructure was planned before pickleball was “a thing”, and long before pickleball was a phenomena. Like many cities, Ottawa needs, and deserves, greater public investment in permanent, dedicated pickleball infrastructure just to meet the existing demand, let alone future demand.

In early 2021, seeing that Ottawa was creating its first ever 10 year Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan, a coalition of local pickleball players recognized this was the natural tipping point to be seized upon, and quickly mobilized to:

  • Encourage each other to complete the city’s online surveys to gauge what residents want in their recreation facilities in the future,
  • Research pickleball infrastructure throughout Ontario (including sources of funding)(thank you to players province wide who responded with details on how pickleball infrastructure became a reality in your communities),
  • Raise awareness among city officials and the general population about the cool sport we all enjoy (including the launch of street signs on several major roads), and
  • Present a compelling case to city officials on why there needs to be greater public investment in pickleball infrastructure.

In my core, I know pickleball is not a niche sport, but instead a sport for all, for life: for seniors, for competitive racquet sport players, and for grandparents, parents, and grandchildren to play together as a family. Seeing how quickly juniors at my local tennis club have taken to pickleball is just one reason I am convinced that city planners need to plan for pickleball beyond the generation of current retirees.

Although we are still in the middle of our attempt to strike while the iron is hot, we are encouraged and mobilized to keep advocating for pickleball’s deserving space in the recreation infrastructure conversation in the nation’s capital.


Marlys Lein
Recognized for her Efforts to Better her Community

 It’s very fitting that long-time community volunteer Marlys Lein was recognized for her efforts to enhance the community, on the pickleball court last night. On top of volunteering with Victims Services, the rodeo, and the Alberta 55+ Summer Games, Lein helped start the Strathmore pickleball group from scratch and helped it grow to now over 100 members.

Louise Bleier, a member of Strathmore pickleball, presented Lein with a certificate and letter from MLA Leela Sharon Aheer from the 2020 Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards. While Lein was not one of the two finalists she was nominated for the awards and recognized for her time and efforts serving this community.

Bleier says, “I stumbled upon the Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards totally by accident. I wanted to know if the Town of Strathmore had a volunteer award where we could nominate people, or if there was a protocol for it.”

Of Lein, she says, “She has been volunteering forever. She is just a great person. She is also involved as the president of the Strathmore Regional Victim Services Society. That’s the organization that provides 24-hour crisis response to victims of crime and tragedy. She’s been a big volunteer in our community for numerous things for numerous years.”

She explained that Lein volunteers during the Strathmore pro rodeo at the gate, she volunteered when the town hosted the 55+ Summer Games, and in the past she has also volunteered to put together Christmas hampers and helped organize charity golf tournaments. “She’s just one of those people who is a great ‘boots on the ground person,’” she said.

Bleier explained she made the presentation of the certificate and the letter from Minister Aheer last night when they were playing pickleball.

“One of the reasons I nominated her was we started this pickleball group in 2015 in the fall after Strathmore successfully hosted the Alberta 55+ Summer Games. We started from scratch with nothing,” she said.

“We’re up over 100 members. It’s taken an incredible amount of time, energy, and commitment, organizing indoor playing venues, booking instructor sessions because people wanted to learn the proper technique and the gameplay, and then sorting people into groups so that everyone would be in a playing cohort that was a similar skill.”

Bleier says Lein is a very humble person.

“She has just done so much work, and teamwork makes the dream work. She epitomizes that phrase. She is easy to work with and if someone has a question she will take the time to spend with them. She is just one of those good people of the world and lots of the time they are the unsung heroes that nobody knows anything about.”

“She truly exemplifies the spirit of the community. The residents of Strathmore and area are very fortunate to have her among us.”

The Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards recognize youth, adults, and seniors whose volunteer efforts have contributed to the well-being of their community and fellow community members. Only two awards are giving annually in each category.



🥳 To celebrate Canada Day we are giving away 2 complimentary nights at @thepickleballhouse in Paso Robles, California. Canadian born ⚜️ Sylvie Beauregard, owner of The Pickleball House, can’t wait to meet you! Giveaway starts June 1st on Facebook or Instagram.

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Jim Parrott
Dave Harris
Wayne Kerr
Manon Lussier
Louis-Charles Amyot
Louise Bleir
Steve Deakin
Karen Rust
Linda Jefferies
Alan Thomson
Sheila Senger
Rhonda Stoner

On the lookout for Contributors

We would love to share your stories, club events, photos, news, etc. Feel free to write to the editor with any comments or suggestions you might have.

Linda Jefferies, Editor at communications@pickleballcanada.org