The hope is to bring in more tourism and tournaments with the official designation and expanded facilities. (Black Press photo)

Christina Lake officially ‘Pickleball Capital of Canada’

The designation has been nearly two years in the making

Christina Lake served and won match point last week in the community’s bid to officially win the title of “Pickleball Capital of Canada.”

The designation, which has been in the works for nearly two years, means that the community can market itself as a destination for athletes young and old, seeking the asphalt courts to play their sport.

“I am quite please that, not only does this project promote recreation and the health and wellness of Christina Lake residents,” said Grace McGregor, Christina Lake’s elected member of the regional district, in a press release, “it will also benefit visitors who come to play and will be a great spin-off economically for local businesses.”

“The award of this designation is an incredible opportunity to promote recreation in Christina Lake and will benefit the community as a whole,” said Parks and Recreation Manager Tom Sprado in a press release. While there are currently six pickleball courts at the Lake, Sprado said that his department is adding more to offer more places to play.

Organizers on the project said that they hope that by expanding its pickleball facilities and reputation, Christina Lake will be able to offer space for tournaments in shoulder seasons, helping to drive the local economy when many regular summer cottagers are away.

With an aging population in Canada, pickleball has blown up in popularity. The sport, which looks like oversized ping-pong or shrunken tennis when played, is a go-to game for athletes who may not have the same agility to spring around a tennis court as they used to. With a slower-moving ball as well, it can be easier for children to pick up too.

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