In 2020, Prince George Tennis Club received a $15,000 grant from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program towards this $78,000 project. This has been a funding partnership of Northern Development
In August of 2020, the Prince George Tennis Club reconfigured two underused tennis courts into six permanent pickleball courts to better serve the growing pickleball community. The Prince George Tennis Club has seen their membership grow from approximately 20 to 150 members in a just a few years, with nearly 50 per cent of those members being pickleballers.
“Pickleball is rapidly growing in popularity and we wanted to support those who are pursuing this form of recreation by providing tournament-quality courts for the community,” said Tyler Foxcroft, president, Prince George Tennis Club. “Pickleball is an excellent sport for people of all ages and it provides a physical and mental workout while encouraging socializing with other athletes. We’re proud to be supporting the diversifying interests of our members and the larger community with top quality facilities.”
Built to international pickleball standards, the upgraded facility will be able to host sanctioned pickleball events in Prince George, bringing a new type of sport tourism to the community. The project included repairs to perimeter fencing, resurfacing, new court lines, new fences between courts and the installation of permanent pickleball nets.
In addition to providing new sport tourism, the project also contributes to citizen retention, especially for those who are seniors. Foxcroft explains that a lot of pickleballers are snowbirds that winter in warmer climates.
“I quite often heard them talk of how they play five or six days a week while in other communities,” said Foxcroft. “When some of them return home, they refused to play on the temporary and crowded courts that we had before the completion of this project.”
The $78,000 project received a $15,000 grant from Northern Development’s former Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. They also received a $25,000 grant from a Federal Government program called New Horizon’s for Seniors and the City of Prince George contributed $38,000 towards the court reconfiguration project.