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Aug. 14, 2020 | Friday
Local News
Pickleball courts get new windscreens
Vince Serratone on the ladder. (Supplied)

Vince Serratore

Special to The Lake Report

Pickleball players at the Virgil Sports Park courts won't be blowin' in the wind as often now, thanks to $5,000 windscreens that club members purchased and installed at the community facility.

The windscreens have a two-year history.

First came a request by the club to the town in 2018, with the insightful early support from then-Coun. Betty Disero, to convert the aging and little used tennis courts at the Virgil Sports Park into a state-of-the-art pickleball facility.

After the town agreed to convert the courts, they were rebuilt in 2019 and the NOTL Pickleball Club grew its membership from 60 members to 270 members last year.

The increase in membership gave the club more money from fees and other activities so the club decided to incorporate into a non-profit club and use some of our money to improve the playing conditions at the outdoor courts. In September 2019, at the club's first annual general meeting, members agreed to install windscreens to help with the Niagara winds we all have experienced and provide an opportunity for the club to give something back to the community.

In order to protect the club’s asset (the windscreens) and the town’s asset (the courts) we approached Council in early 2020 with the help of our ongoing strong partnership with parks and recreation personnel to request that the public courts be designated as community courts, which would allow the NOTL Pickleball Club to help the town manage and protect the courts.

The community designation allowed the town to install gates with a coded keypad for access and the NOTL Pickleball Club would contribute $1,500 to the cost of the new gates and manage the code on behalf of the town. The club would also purchase and install windscreens (at a cost of $5,000) once the gates were installed.

The town agreed and now the gates and the windscreens have been erected.

 It should be noted that the courts are always available to the public and the code to access the courts is published on our web page at www.notlpickleball.ca.

Due to COVID-19, club play has not yet resumed, however the courts are open for all to use as long as players are following all government guidelines. Club members also follow guidelines set by Pickleball Ontario.

We recommend that anyone using the courts follow the guidelines, play safe and, if you are uncomfortable with anything, just don’t play.

* Vince Serratore is vice-president of the NOTL Pickleball Club.

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