A total of 127 pickleball players from around B.C. competed at the Comox Valley Pickleball Association Tournament May 7 and 8 at the 19 Wing gym. Demand for court time was such that online registration was sold out in mere minutes. Already there is talk about next year.
Saturday led off with round-robin men’s and women’s doubles in multiple categories from 3.5 to 4.5+. Each team played a minimum of four rounds. On Sunday, the mixed doubles took over. Of particular note are the final events where the best mixed players take up the challenge and generate the most excitement for the crowd.
Several local players reached the podium. In men’s doubles 3.5, Joe Mantha of Courtenay and Kyle Patterson of Comox won silver, while Russell Portigal of Courtenay and Allan Lobban of Cumberland won bronze. In mixed doubles 3.5, Jane Morris and Patterson, both from Comox, won the silver medal.
Players showed great sportsmanship and skill, and everybody had fun. FMI: www.cvpickleball.ca
Pickleball is considered the fastest growing sport in North America, gaining exposure from inclusion in the National Senior Games, and on broadcasts such as Good Morning America and YouTube. Sport BC has named it a registered provincial sport with more than 7,500 players in the province, and 600 who regularly play in the Comox Valley. Clubs such as the CVPA host 50-plus tournaments a year, according to Pickleball BC. The CVPA has 300-plus paid members.
The increasing demand for dedicated playing surfaces means that cities need to move forward to provide for this growing sport. Pickleball is getting people of all ages active. Healthier seniors lowers health costs, and sport activities and events contribute to economies.