By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Potentially dedicating Sinclair Park’s racquet courts exclusively to pickleball is an idea voted down Monday at Cobourg council’s committee-of-the-whole meeting in favour of space at the Cobourg Community Centre.
An amendment to the motion by Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty added the directive to the Community Services Division to draft a Memorandum of Understanding to determine the scope, costs and responsibilities of all parties for the future development of these pickleball courts.
The vote followed more than a year of work by the Cobourg Pickleball Club (and its growing membership) to find a permanent home. Club President Marilou Martin detailed the work they had done at Sinclair Park to ascertain its fitness for this purpose (which would then take the club out of Peter Delanty Park on Coverdale Street and leave its facilities exclusively for tennis players).
Martin said they had ascertained that the noise they made while the courts are being engaged in this sport is less than two decibels higher than the neighbourhood’s ambient sound and more than 20 decibels less than when a train rumbles past.
The closest homes are about 984 feet from the court, she added, and the club’s memberships would consider purchasing and installing sound barriers.
Martin was followed by Colin Powles who plays both tennis and pickleball. As a retired educator, he urged council to keep Sinclair as a multi-use park to encourage increased use (and enhanced fitness) of the community. With young people emerging from the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, he pointed out, easy access to a variety of active pursuits is vital to maintain.
Though staff recommendations in the agenda had also offered the option of designating Sinclair Park courts for pickleball and Peter Delanty Park courts for tennis, council got behind Councillor Miriam Mutton’s motion to look at developing space at the CCC. Council can expect further information on this project, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding, in the form of a staff report at a future meeting.