If you head down to the Kinsmen Sportsplex, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find someone using the outdoor Pickleball courts. 

Since the courts opened just over a year ago, Pickleball Moose Jaw has continued to see an influx of players taking up the sport. 

Pickleball Moose Jaw started up in late 2019 and hosted its first-ever event and immediately had to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As things started to open back up again, Pickleball Moose Jaw worked with the city to have a dedicated outdoor court. Since the group's inception, it has grown from about 60 members to 220. 

“I think Pickleball is drawing in so many people because it’s really an inclusive sport. It’s a good sport for all ages. Our youngest member is 12 and our oldest is 92,” said Pickleball Moose Jaw president Lori Haukaas.  

Since the outdoor courts opened, they have held members-only tournaments. They were also able to take advantage of a Pickleball Saskatchewan grant to bring in Saskatchewan’s top-ranked female player to teach intermediate and advanced skills. 

They have also hosted several learn-to-play sessions and have partnered with the Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce and the Community Bridging Program to teach Pickleball to new players. 

Every week, Pickleball Moose Jaw runs its regular 55-Plus, Beginner, Open and Advanced programs and they have started up a “King and Queen of the Court” challenge. 

They have another tournament coming up on Sept. 23 and 24 before having their season windup. 

Aside from the Pickleball Moose Jaw activities, the city has been offering free community use time. 

“We obviously appreciate the exclusive-use agreement very much with the city and that’s opened up multiple opportunities for us. But to see the free community use time being so well utilized has been just amazing to see. We have 220 members ourselves and we estimate that there are over 350 players in and around Moose Jaw,” Haukaas said. 

From Aug. 23 to 27, Pickleball Moose Jaw had a good representation at the National Pickleball Championships in Regina as several players brought home medals. Haukaas said it isn’t often that nationals are so close to home, and they even had a good base of members who went to cheer on their peers. 

Brenda Dowling and her out-of-province partner won Gold in 4.0, age 60+, while Jill Andrews and her out-of-province partner won Bronze in 3.0,
age 65+.

Most recently, it was announced that Pickleball Saskatchewan was accepted as the newest member of Sask Sports. 

Haukaas said it was a multi-year effort from Pickleball Saskatchewan to get the fastest-growing sport in North America recognized provincially. 

“It’s exciting to see it actually recognized as a sport here. It’ll open up multiple opportunities for Pickleball in Saskatchewan, but also for our club specifically. So, we’re looking forward to having the actual sport status here in Saskatchewan,” she said. 

You can find out more about Pickleball Moose Jaw on their Facebook page

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Discover Moose Jaw encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the Discover Moose Jaw app HERE.