Dan Teichroeb, a director on the group board, says it is gentle on the body and fun to play.
The Prince George Tennis Club is extremely excited about the prospect of increasing their members. Dan Teichroeb is a Director on the Prince George Tennis & Pickleball Club board. He says that seniors and those who need low-impact sporting activities are especially drawn to the sport.
"It's a sport of extreme interest to seniors and retirees," Teichroeb says. The sport started in the mid-sixties in Washington, and "as it progressed in popularity, people who are 65 years young and older found that it really worked for them."
Teichroeb explains that in pickleball, court surfaces are half the size of tennis courts, and you play two on two. When playing, less ground is covered, and players use a very large paddle and a wiffle ball to play. While players serve and parry in a way similar to tennis, "it's much slower, a much more of a strategic game, there’s less smacking back and forth."
Teichroeb himself has had a knee replaced, which he credits with giving him a new lease on life, but says, "I obviously can't chase a tennis ball around like this." He says that the sport is gentle for those who are getting older and need a slower sport.
Teichroeb adds that all over the sunny climates in the United States, like California or Arizona, there are "thousands and thousands of pickleball courts all over the place... And in Canada, it's starting to grow more and more!"
BC experiences its own surge of growth for pickleball fans, with 300 players in Kamloops, 330 in Vernon, and 200 in Nanaimo. Prince George has 150 devoted players, and Teichroeb and his club are looking to grow that number so that they can fundraise for regulation courts, and then bid to host tournaments.
Teichroeb says that the club applied to NDIT for money and has been granted $15,000 towards the construction of new courts, but says they still need more funds and more members. "We have several credited instructors but have a hard time feeling great teaching someone on a temporary court," Teichroeb says. "We feel that with tournament standard courts, we could easily grow 10-15-20% annually."