By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Challenged to raise half the money they need to set up their own courts, the Cobourg Pickleball Club has approached Cobourg council for the help they need to apply for grants, including formalizing their access to the courts at Sinclair Park.
Following their presentation at their committee-of-the-whole meeting, council has referred their presentation to the Community Services division for a report, and is requesting a memorandum of understanding no later than their Aug. 14 committee-of-the-whole meeting.
Club President Marilou Martin displayed the newly designed logo of the club that began in October 2021 with 67 members and has now grown to 225.
Extrapolating from US figures, they reckon 1.3-million Canadians play, but they are especially pleased in how it is growing not only among younger adults but also among young people. The Cobourg club has members aged 12 to 90. Couples play together, and the sport helps young people and those with disabilities stay active.
Their membership continues to grow through such outreach as learn-to-play events and visits to the Cobourg Collegiate Institute. They hosted tournaments in the past two years that each brought more than 170 participants. Many of them brought friends and family members, staying overnight, eating in local restaurants and otherwise supporting the local community.
The Cobourg club has grown in spite of the problems they experienced at the Cobourg Community Centre due to shifting COVID-19 restrictions and challenges with tennis players in vying for space at tennis courts.
They have ascertained that the facilities at Sinclair Park could be made into a facility that could serve as their home court with resurfacing and repainting of lines. It already has lighting, washroom and some storage facilities. They need permanently positioned nets, more parking and more shade. Noise should not be a concern to neighbours, as regular train traffic would drown out any noise they make.
Most of all, they need to enshrine this access with the town, not only to have a home for this fast-growing sport but to help them qualify for the grants they wish to apply for. Should council approve the MOU in August, this issue should be expedited.