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Pickleball provincial championships in North Bay this weekend

Local supporters say the sport is growing in the area
20190620 pickleball media day rich
Pickleball action on media day. Photo courtesy Richard Coffin/Rogers Radio.

Pickleball is a growing local sport. 

Just ask Tom Cook, who is the man responsible for bringing the game to North Bay. 

Cook says they started out with about eight people and have nearly ten times that number now playing at Canadore’s Commerce Court Gym and a couple other locations.

He believes pickleball is a fun sport that is similar to tennis but not as hard on the body.  

“Now we’re running 75 people regularly between here and ESC Algonquin in the evening, and Tweedsmuir during the day for the summer time,” he told Rogers Radio during a media day event on Monday.

Cook also says there’s about 60 to 70 players in Callander and another 100 in Astorville, too.

Pickleball combines squash, tennis, badminton and ping pong skills in a fast-paced game enjoyed by people of all ages.

Because of that local success, the community felt it was time to host the Pickleball Provincial Championship wihich will take place this weekend at Nipissing University. .

Tournament Director John Halliday says they’re expecting about 160 people to take part.

“It’s not as much as we would have hoped for, but the nice thing is we have a lot of people from Northern Ontario,” said Halliday to Rogers Radio. 

“About a quarter of the participants are from North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, Little Current, Callander and Astorville.”

The tournament includes men’s and women’s singles and doubles, along with mixed doubles too.

Spectators are free..