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By Mallorie Rast

While the name conjures up cartoon images of either a nobby pickle swinging a baseball bat or folks using an extraordinarily-sized pickle as the ball-bat, Pickleball doesn’t have anything at all to do with pickles, but a whole lot to do with fun. 

Kindersley’s group of Pickleball players now have a new location, 112 5th Avenue East, also known as the Old School Division building, and are looking for new members to join their group.   

According to Pickleball Canada, the game was founded just over 50 years ago in 1965 by a Washington State congressman named Joel Pritchard, and Bill Bell, a successful businessman. Returning from a business trip back to Pritchard’s home in Bainbridge Island, the pair discovered some dreadfully bored family members. To lighten the mood, Pritchard searched for enough rackets to make up a Badminton tournament. When only a few rackets were pulled out of storage, the families made do by using Ping Pong paddles and a plastic ball, volleying over the Badminton net. The improvised game pieces and mash-up of rules resulted in the now fun-loving game called Pickleball. 

Two legends surround the history of how this family-friendly game got its name. One tale claims Joan Pritchard coined it as the game reminded her of a “pickle boat” crew made up of oarsmen leftover from other teams. The other attributes the game to being the Pritchard’s dog’s namesake. Allegedly, Pickles the dog would snatch the ball and run off the Badminton court, and a temporary game “time-out” would be called while the players chased down the mischievous pet. 

Today, Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in North America and is known for its accessibility for all family members. The lower net and small wiffle ball easily support three-generational players at any level of skill. 

Kindersley’s group of Pickleball players recently moved to the old location of the Sunwest School Division, located at 112 5th Avenue in Kindersley, and are now offering indoor and outdoor membership packages. The outdoor membership lasts from August to September and costs $30.00/person. The indoor membership runs from October to December and is $50/person. 

“Pickleball is under the umbrella of Pathway to Wellness. We would like to thank our partner, Town of Kindersley, for getting the courts ready. Come join us Monday, August 10th, 2020 – 6:00 p.m. and try it out, no charge.

For more information on Pickleball rules and becoming a member, please contact Joanne Kosolofski at pw2.kindersley@gmail.com or at 306-463-0104.

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