The Grande Prairie Pickleball Club will have to wait a few more months to find out if the city will help with some of the cost of its new courts. On Monday, council members debated whether or not to provide $55,000 to help change the tennis courts at Legion Field into pickleball courts. In the end they voted to wait until budget talks to make that decision.
Councillor Dylan Bressey says they have been talking about helping with a project like this for over two years now but he’s confident the funding will come through this time around.
“We’ve got a lot of people that are very excited to play outside here and they’ve been working for years to make that happen. I think it can be discouraging to wait a few more months for a decision to get made but at the same time I’m optimistic that we’ll fund them in the end.”
Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis and can be played by people of all ages. The total estimated cost for the project is sitting at $100,000. $20,000 of that is coming from the Alberta Summer Games Legacy fund with the rest being fund-raised by the club. Members have also agreed to pitch in and resurface the courts themselves. Bressey says that really shows the desire for something like this in the city.
“This is a project that not only is the pickleball club itself ready to support but also there’s been legacy funds from the Alberta Summer Games committed to it. If the city’s putting in roughly 50 per cent of a project and the rest is coming from the community I know that’s going to be a well loved and well used facility.”
Currently the Pickleball Club has been playing out the Dave Barr Community Centre which added the sport to its drop-in schedule in May. Council will make their final decision this November.