Thank You Vernon Pickleball for inspiring the Salmon Arm Pickleball Club in our development! Your kindness and generosity has been VERY APPRECIATED!
SEE YOU on the COURTS!
Ben Harrison shares the story about how 20-25 years ago….
Ben Peters brought Pickleball to Salmon Arm from the South. He and his wife were Snowbirds, and pickleball was starting to be played there.
The group was made up of 5 players: Ben Peters, Ralph Owens, Percy and his wife Bea, and Ben Harrison. They played pickleball in the SASCU Recreation Centre with just the 5 of them, subbing one person out at the end of each game until Ralph Owens, Eddie Turner, Herb and Helen Pendell joined to make it bigger, so they had two courts going. As time went on more and more joined in and look at it now!
In the beginning the SASCU Recreation Centre used badminton nets tied lower on the poles, as they did not have pickleball nets; and, the players used the old wooden paddles. Ben Harrison remembers a lot of fun times playing pickleball (and Tennis too)!
He also remembers going into the schools and teaching the game to students (the current club does the same now). He said kids caught on to the game quickly and really enjoyed it.
Helen & Herb Pendell, Ralph Owens, Eddie Turner and Ben Peters still live in Salmon Arm. Herb IS the oldest member of the Pickleball club.
Keith & Linda Brown share the story from 2009-2016.
In 2009 – Keith and Linda Brown were playing tennis with Ben Harrison who convinced them to come out and try this new Pickleball game. Of course they loved it and were addicted right away.
When Linda started to shop for paddles, she was approached by a Canada Pickleball Director in Kelowna and was appointed the Ambassadorship for the Salmon Arm/Shuswap area.
From that point onwards, Keith and she were promoting, coaching, and finding product and sales reps to come to our club. They would sponsor an open house each year to bring in new members.
With the help of Jeff Gerrard, they found that the Club Shuswap Golf Course would allow them to build 4 courts at that location. It was a lot of work, but they had enthusiastic help.
At that point Salmon Arm became the 7th organized Pickleball Club in Canada. Quite a feat for this small town considering that there are close to 200 clubs today. The club consisted of 95 paying members at that time, and many drop-ins.
Linda ran 3 different tournaments each year. An “in house” tourney, a fun tourney and then a 2-day “open” tourney that would bring in players from Alberta, the Island, the Vancouver area and our own Shuswap/Okanagan area. They would all camp nearby~~the tournament being the focus, but the “Christmas in July” turkey dinner and fun night following was always a huge attraction.
Linda ran the club for 7 years, until it was handed over to the next executive. SEVEN years – Thank You KEITH & LINDA!