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The draft Cornish recreation master plan calls for a special pickleball complex

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With a rapid increase in interest in pickleball, the city of Cornwall has planned the future opening of courses dedicated to the sport.

The recently unveiled design master plan for the city’s recreation outlined that, according to feedback from surveyed residents, there is a strong desire to create indoor and outdoor pickleball courts.

Pickleball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis. Over the past 10 years, it has enjoyed enormous popularity among the city’s aging population. According to the draft plan, the sport has become the fastest growing sport in Canada in recent years.

In addition, creating indoor and outdoor pickleball courts was the most common request from residents when asking what additional parks and leisure options they would like to see in Cornwall.

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Due to the strong and steady growth of pickleball, available jobs in Cornwall are nearing capacity, it said. Several requests for special outdoor pickleball courts were logged through the master plan survey, including a frequent suggestion to convert the tennis courts in Terry Fox Memorial Park into full-time pickleball courts, along with regular access to the on-site restrooms.

The same growing demands also led the city to paint pickleball lines on tennis courts in Broadview Park and Terry Fox Memorial Park.

In the short term it was eventually proposed in the draft plan that the growing demand for the sport could be met by additional adjustments to the tennis courts. In the long run, however, it recommended the creation of a dedicated pickleball complex with restrooms, shade, and nearby parking.

The city should evaluate existing parks and other options for this purpose. Obviously, a town property on Saunders Drive could be a potential candidate, it said. As is common in other municipalities, the city may seek a cost-sharing arrangement with the pickleball clubs to help offset capital costs that exceed the basic level of service.

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