By Lethbridge Herald on September 20, 2023.
By Justin Seward
Pickleball players in the city will have more places to play after the ribbon was cut on an additional six new pickleball courts on Wednesday at Legacy Park.
The project was a collaboration between the Lethbridge Pickleball Club, the parks and recreation department and parks and cemeteries department.
It was included in the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Plan at cost of $650,000 out of the Canada Community-Building Fund.
The project included new Plexipave surfaces, windscreens and an asphalt pathway on the west side to allow for more barrier-free access for those with mobility devices.
The city said the six new courts will address the need for more spaces to play and provide opportunities to host larger events and tournaments.
The city’s general manager of recreation and culture, Robin Harper, was a liaison to city council and advocate for the pickleball courts.
“Yeah I mean it’s exciting for us,” said Harper.
“As was mentioned, this has been a multi-year project for us as far as planning, trying to get it within budget and then obviously today is the culmination of that to have the official opening. We’re excited about it; the club is extremely excited about it and it just speaks to the popularity of the sport right now and the trend of that continuing to grow.”
“The access for this new court, as well as the opportunity for the club to host tournaments and events, I think will be a real benefit to the city,” said Harper.
Harper does foresee the city building more pickleball courts in the future.
“I mean this facility will be able to be used by multi generations,” said Klaus Witzke, Lethbridge Pickleball Club president.
“We’ve been here on a weekend where we’ve seen families here with their small children in hand playing pickleball. So it’s not only a sport for seniors, but it’s a sport that’s multi-generational and these courts will only help to improve the game of pickleball and the ability for families to come out and enjoy the sport.”
Witzke said so the sport is growing.
“If we were able to have a few more courts like this, then we would be able to hold a regional tournament,” said Witzke.
The new courts are located just north of the existing six ones.