From the Centre: Creston community complex hosting conventions and pickleball

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I was in the curling arena the other day following the Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments conference (another successful large three-day conference event held at the Creston and District Community Complex, utilizing almost every room, and organized by Town of Creston staff and a few other key people) and I noticed we had added another pickleball court on the curling floor making a total of three — count ’em, three — surfaces for playing this rising-in-popularity sport.

I know I have given you the background on pickleball before but let’s recap for old times’ sake. Sort of a cross between badminton, tennis and ping-pong, it uses oversized paddles to hit a waffle ball over a lower-height net. Playable by all ages, this game has grown in popularity since its mid-1960s invention in the Puget Sound area of Washington, and whether you believe it was named after the inventor’s dog, Pickles, or a reference to a pickle boat, it doesn’t really matter. The game itself is a blast, can be as challenging as you make it and you really have to come and try it out.

So, as my grandma used to say, “How much costing?” If you already have a membership to the community complex, nothing, plus we provide the paddles and nets. No membership, no worries — at $3 for adults and $2 for seniors or youth, that’s cheap entertainment, plus as a bonus you get to immerse yourself in our mantra, “Get active.” Right now it runs from 7 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 6:30-8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

But wait! There’s more! A kind soul within the current pickleball enthusiasts has volunteered to provide free lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-9:30 a.m., so the only way this would get any better is if we paid you to come and play! (Which isn’t going to happen…) We would like to see this sport grow to the extent is has in other areas; in fact I was at a tradeshow at the recent BC Recreation and Parks Association convention and overheard a couple of recreation professionals from similar-sized municipalities in B.C. discussing getting custom pickle ball flooring from a B.C. manufacturer because of the interest in their communities. It’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s good for you.

From the “I Did Not Know That” file, I see there is an article in the most recent issue of Beef in BC magazine about the upcoming BC Cattlemen Association annual general meeting with a picture of our front entrance splashed across the page. I did know most of that, other than that there exists a Beef in BC magazine. Probably not as mainstream as Maclean’s or Star Weekly, I did find it quite interesting with lots of well written, informative articles obviously targeting the folks that will come to our next large scale three-day convention (again using pretty much all the space in the complex). We are excited about hosting another convention as each event provides more experience and spreads the word about the facility and region, providing revenue-generating opportunities not only for the complex but the town and surrounding area as a whole.

Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.