NEWS

PICKLEBALL FEEDBACK BLITZ – PLEASE DO YOUR PART!!!

The City of Ottawa Parks and Recreation Department is about to embark on a planning initiative that will determine recreation facilities for the next 10 years. We need YOUR HELP IMMEDIATELY so that we can “flood” them with input from us, the pickleball players. We need several hundred of you pickleball players to respond to the current survey on indoor
facilities; percentage-wise, those numbers can potentially have a huge impact on the planning process. Please take 10-15 minutes to complete the survey and help to influence the course of pickleball in our city.

The deadline for the survey is Friday, March 12 th , so please don’t delay and do this right now.


Please note that you will need to register and then sign-in. These are two simple steps that are very important. You will be asked to include a bit of demographic information, as well as your postal code. This will enable us to demonstrate that pickleball players are from all age groups and from many neighbourhoods, which is vital to city planners.
Most of the survey questions provide responses that you’ll simply check. There are a few where you are asked to write comments; this is where we can really have important influence. Specifically, question #8 asks: “What key factors do you want the city of Ottawa to consider
when developing the parks and recreation master plan?” In order to provide some ideas for you, and especially so that we can provide consistent input, we have included some “talking points” for you to include as a response to question #8.

  1. There has been a consistent and rapid increase in the number of pickleball players in Ottawa over the past twelve years, from two small groups of about a dozen players each on different sides of the city, to a current estimated 2500 players from across numerous
    wards. For at least twenty years, pickleball has been the fastest-growing sport in Canada. The provision of indoor venues for play in Ottawa, has come nowhere near keeping pace with this rapid growth.
  2. Indoor venues which offer drop-in pickleball have sign-up systems that fill immediately and become overwhelmed, frequently have to cap the upper limit of players, and often must turn players away due to limited capacity. In some venues players must arrive an hour prior to the scheduled time, in order to attempt to get one of the coveted spots,
    and frequently after waiting that long, don’t get in. Such frustration has already resulted in some players giving up on the sport.
  3. Due to Ottawa’s winter weather, there are at least 4-5 months per year when outdoor pickleball is not feasible for many players, making the demand for indoor venues that much more significant, and their limited number of spaces, that much more problematic.
  4. The availability of outdoor pickleball courts is also limited. To their credit, the city has painted pickleball lines on a fair number of tennis courts. However, the multi-use nature of these courts simply increases competition (and tensions) for already-limited playing opportunities. Thus, outdoor pickleball courts are desperately needed. Placing
    2-4 pickleball courts in numerous neighbourhoods throughout the city’s wards, would have several benefits: a)decrease competition with tennis players, b)increase visibility of the sport, thereby promoting it and encouraging new people of all ages to try it,
    c)provide increased opportunity for healthy, social activity, d)build community, and e)have the potential to positively impact interactions among citizens of diverse ethnic, racial, social and economic backgrounds.
  5. There is at present, no dedicated indoor pickleball facility in the entire country, that can adequately be a venue for major tournaments. Ottawa, our country’s capital, has the ability and opportunity to become the pickleball capital of our country. The benefits to the city would be numerous: a)increase knowledge of and promote the sport (it is likely to become an Olympic demonstration sport soon), resulting in new players, both recreational and competitive, b)contribute to improved health of citizens, c) provide fun and meaningful activities for people of all ages and backgrounds, d)provide a top-notch venue for teaching and training, e)increase tourism, resulting in increased revenue for the city, provide entrepreneurial opportunities for food vendors, merchandisers, etc., and g)increase the city’s profile and appeal as a destination, country-wide.


We don’t expect you to include every point – we’ve simply provided a variety so that you can choose which ones you’d like to include in your comments. The idea is for all of us to keep “pounding home” the same ideas to the planners, consistently. So just choose 2 or 3 comments that you’d like to make, from the list, then using them as a guideline, put them in your own words. It’s very important that we do not all simply copy and use the exact same
words as what are provided here.
Finally, the survey is about indoor facilities, but you’ll note that one of the suggested comments is about outdoor facilities. We’ve included this because it provides an opportunity to put those ideas forward, since many of us missed the survey on outdoor facilities that was due last week. If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to contact Evelyn at future@ottawapickleballassociation.com


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