Strong wind gusts added to the challenge at Elk Point’s second annual pickleball tournament and the official opening of its courts. However, the opportunity to show off the new outdoor courts and to host players from other clubs drove participants to find ways to use the wind in their favour.
Pickleball is just getting started in Elk Point, so the tourney on Saturday, August 18 was a fabulous opportunity for new players to pick up some tips from experienced guests. Veterans from St. Paul, Cold Lake, Spruce Grove, and Vermilion took it easy on the rookies, including one whose very first pickleball game was just the Tuesday before.
Before cutting the ceremonial ribbon, Terri Hampson welcomed the players and thanked sponsors and volunteers. “We look forward to a great future of pickleball for our entire community and surrounding area. Our club has amazing members and we look forward to growing!” Hampson has dedicated many hours to building the club, including arranging for the tennis courts to be resurfaced and repainted for pickleball.
Elk Point Mayor, Lorne Young, pointed out, “The new courts are a good example of when a few volunteers get together and come up with an idea, they can make it happen.” He continued, “You’ve got a great facility here. I hope this sport grows.” Young applauded the Elk Point Ag Society for its support in making the site available for conversion. Words of congratulations were also given by Graham Getz from Cornerstone CoOp and Geoff Hoyle of the Elk Point Elks Lodge #460.
The tournament followed a ‘luck of the draw’ format. Individuals were randomly partnered for each game, and games were ten minutes long. Scores after ten minutes were recorded and totaled at the end of the tournament. Prizes were awarded to the top 5 players: 1st Phillip Eyles from Bonnyville; 2nd Lillian Theroux from St. Paul; 3rd Christy Hinks from Sherwood Park; 4th Randy Ballas from Elk Point; 5th Yvette Webster from St. Paul.
Sponsors for the event include: Cornerstone Co-op, County of St. Paul and Elk Point FCSS, Town of Elk Point, JPD Enterprises, Cuts by Candace, Wanda Lynn’s Body Shoppe, Magic Pizza, Rona, and ATB. Supporters of the club include: Elk Point Elks Lodge #460, Elk Point Lions Club, Town of Elk Point, JPD Enterprises, and Marilyn Habiuk. The Cornerstone CoOp community trailer was on hand to serve hamburgers and donuts.
The club is happy to welcome any players, novice or advanced, on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 at the courts (F.G. Miller gym in the winter). The first evening is free, then a drop-in fee of $5 is charged.