Tuesday, May 22, 2012

SOUTH DELTA LEADER - Pickleball picks up popularity in Ladner, Peter Darvill

Newspaper article and video http://www.southdeltaleader.com/sports/151450615.html
By Christine Lyon - South Delta Leader
Published: May 15, 2012 10:00 AM

Pickleball picks up popularity in Ladner 
Peter Darvill took up the curiously-named sport of pickleball two years ago and has been hooked ever since.
The Ladner resident is now the Pickleball Canada ambassador for Richmond/South Delta and plays the game six days a week. He describes the sport as "a mini game of tennis played on a court the exact size of a badminton court."

 The net is 34 inches high, slightly lower than a tennis court net, and players hit a hard Wiffle ball using paddles made out of wood or graphite. Most games are played in doubles. "It gets the heart rate going, especially when you're playing with people of your same calibre," Darvill says. "It's really good for seniors," he adds, explaining the sport is much easier on the knees than tennis. "Anybody who's got any experience in racquetball, table tennis, any of those kinds of sports, do very well at it," he says.

 According to the USA Pickleball Association, the sport was invented in 1965 by a man from Bainbridge Island, Washington. It was named after the family dog, who would chase after balls and hide them in the bushes.

There are about 30 active pickleball players in South Delta who play at the Ladner Community Centre and the South Delta Recreation Centre. This year, local pickleballers have a new outdoor venue at Cromie Park, adjacent to Ladner Elementary School. The Corporation of Delta last year resurfaced the tennis courts and added permanent pickleball lines. "It's kind of unique in Canada and the northwest United States to be outside, because basically it's played inside here," says Darvill, explaining outdoor play requires a harder ball. "So the game gets played a little bit faster," he says, listing the added challenges of wind and sun glare. Darvill encourages others to try the sport and says he's happy to teach newcomers the basics. "It's quite easy to pick up," he says. "It's really growing in popularity and it's good for you."

 Play time is usually Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m. at Ladner Community Centre and Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at South Delta Rec Centre. Regular admission rates apply. Email pdarvill@hotmail.com for more information.

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