The Chatham-Kent Pickleball Club and Thames Campus HealthPlex had a great turnout of players and celebrities for the Pickleball for Hospice events on Friday and Saturday at the Thames Campus HealthPlex.
The events raised in excess of $8,000 for the Chatham-Kent Hospice Foundation.
A total of 56 pickleball players competed in fun round-robin matches, and nine celebrities joined the fun with coaching from Peter and Susan Singleton of Singleton Paddles in Guelph.
Celebrities included MP David Van Kesteren, MPP Rick Nicholls, Chief of Police Gary Conn, CAO of Chatham-Kent Don Shropshire, C-K Coun. Karen Herman, Pete Martin from Cogeco TV, radio and television personality Peter Cobb, and one of the original CK Pickleballers Harvey Nicholson.
“Our group of enthusiastic volunteers have been working since February planning these events and today was the result of a lot of hard work from this dedicated group,” CK Pickleball Club president Jay Salisbury said in a release. “Our sponsors were instrumental in us exceeding our goal and we cannot thank them enough. Many sponsors donated cash and prizes, which contributed to our success.
“Everyone who played this weekend is a winner in my books. The action was fast and furious out there and the skill level of play has improved dramatically in the past year.”
The celebrity players, most of whom had never seen pickleball before, after a short tutorial, were playing competitive games.
“We’re hoping to invite them next year as tournament players, not celebrities,” Salisbury said. “We are seeing huge growth in pickleball in Chatham-Kent and invite anyone who wants to see what pickleball is all about to come out and give it a try. They can find info and schedules at www.ckpickleball.ca.”