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Popular racquet sport marks a milestone in qathet region

Pickleball expo highlights group’s efforts

The qathet region has fully embraced the sport of pickleball, according to qathet Pickleball Association (qPA).

Since 2018, popularity for the racquet sport which, from quick observation looks like a combination of ping-pong and tennis, has gained momentum.

City of Powell River created courts in Townsite, and Powell River Recreation Complex has made room for the game in its facility, but probably the most well-known courts are at Powell River Racquet Centre on Joyce Avenue.

qPA formed in April 2023, and to celebrate the milestone, the group held the first qPA Expo on April 24 at Carlson Community Club. Pickleball player and qPA director at large Lynn O'Reilly said shared the association’s two objectives: "To provide an opportunity for pickleball enthusiasts and soon-to-be enthusiasts to learn more about all things pickleball in our region, and to engage members of our community in our vision to develop safe and suitable facilities for year-round pickleball play."

O'Reilly said mayor Ron Woznow and several Powell River city council members were at the event.

"As attendees visited the various booths we gathered their thoughts and ideas about what they want to see develop, and how they can help," added O'Reilly. "While I hesitate to put a very overused line on this, we truly believe that ‘if we build it, they will come.’"

qPA hopes to host sanctioned tournaments and draw tourists to the region to play. However, as of now, the group has plans to schedule just-for-fun tournaments throughout the summer, with the first one tentatively set for June 1. 

"We continue to work with the Powell River Racquet Centre to hold lessons and other programming,” said O'Reilly, “including a recent coaching clinic, which drew participants from our region as well as Vancouver Island and the lower Sunshine Coast.”

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