A new sports facility opening next month will bring Richmond one step closer to becoming a pickleball hub in the Lower Mainland.
The Pacific Pickleball Centre, set to open in the Ironwood neighbourhood on 12171 Horseshoe Way, will offer eight indoor courts with services including court bookings, drop-in play sessions, skill-based play sessions, event bookings, as well as introductory clinics for beginners.
Lessons, both in groups and private, will be led by PAC coaches and day camps will be available for kids in summer.
Ben Cheung, Pacific Pickleball operations manager, told the Richmond News Richmond is an ideal place for the facility because it has a "huge number" of folks playing pickleball and it's a "very centralized location" close to other Metro Vancouver cities.
Cheung had worked at community centres and saw the rise of the sport before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now as a pickleball coach, his classes are filled up in mere minutes after opening for registration.
"So the sport has grown so fast and the municipalities are having a hard time catching up with building outdoor courts," he said, adding that sound is an issue for outdoor venues.
Not only will an indoor space solve the noise issue, Cheung explained, players can also avoid uncertainties due to weather conditions and make sure they can play to their hearts' content through a booking system.
A soft opening is expected to take place in February and more information will be available soon.