Hamiton Pickleball Club is a now a FINALIST for Canada's Best Pickleball Club 2023.
Hamilton Pickleball Club had been nominated, as a Special Exception Club for 2023.
These were clubs that didn't get enough nomination votes early in the summer to be in the top 10.
However we requested clubs with special achievement submit us their story.
Our selection committe reviewed the 4 of those we received, and selected Hamilton Pickleball Club to be the additional FINALIST for Canada's Best Pickleball Club vote. Voting dates are September 15 through October 15, 2023.
I am sure you will agree, when you read their story, that they are a truly fine club and deserving the recognition of being a FINALIST
Congratulations to the members , volunteers, and executive of Hamilton, as well as the Administration and Council of the City of Hamilton for showing all of Canada what be done, when a city fully enables and supports a local club.
Well done everyone. You have been on a wonderful journey, and have a truly inspirational stpory, for all of Canada to see and be made aware of.
Spread it far and wide.
Here is the Story about the Hamilton Pickleball Club.
Pickleball Hamilton was originally founded as the Hamilton Pickleball Club in 2011.
Jeff Morgan one of our founding members began renting gymnasium space at a local Hamilton High School to share the game with family and friends.
When the club started the original members began to search for a place to play. It was not easy, but they approached the City of Hamilton with a plan o turn two under used tennis courts on the Hamilton Mountain into six pickleball courts.
The City resurfaced the courts, but it was up to the members of Pickleball Hamilton to raise the funds for posts, nets, and windscreens.
It was hard work, but they did it! Each year a few more people would join to learn how to play pickleball. During the winter months the club rents space in schools so that we can provide on going dedicated pickleball for our members.
We continued to grow at such a rate that in 2019 we went to the city with a proposal to develop two under used tennis courts beside the current six pickleball courts.
In partnership with the City of Hamilton the club through member debentures raised $25,000.00 in under 4 weeks.
We then went to the City of Hamilton with the support of our local Councillor Ester Pauls and received the required funds ($225,000) to turn the tennis courts into an additional six pickleball courts.
These courts were completed and officially opened in 2021 with an event attended by members of the Parks Department, our City Councillor, and the Mayor of Hamilton.
Opening of the Original 6 Courts Opening of the additional 6 courts
Pickleball Hamilton and its members are always willing to give back to the community or to charity. Whenever asked we go into schools or to community events to introduce the game. Charities that our club and its members have supported over the past five years include Ronald McDonald House,
The Neighbour 2 Neighbour Food Bank and Alzheimer’s research. Since 2019 through charity events and member contributions, our total donations in addition to non-perishable foods is approximately $25,000.00
More Donations and now 500 Members and a Wait List
Through a grant received from the SIRC (Sport Information Resource Centre) the club produced a series of videos on concussion prevention and pickleball safety. We hosted an event in 2022 in support of Mixed Ability Sport that proved very educational for everyone.
This year the club held its’ 2 and Kids/Family Camp which is run for 5 days by club volunteers. Although it’s a new initiative the feedback has been positive.
As our club is now 500 members strong with a waiting list, we decided to implement something that we are sure many other clubs around the area are or will be doing as they grow. We now require members wanting to play in 3.0 and above level play sessions to be rated.
We hired a Certified Pickleball Professional to do this and although it has been a daunting task, we have noticed that many members are now taking the time to work on their skills and there has been a significant improvement in the overall standard play.
Beyond our annual Club Tournament, the following initiatives are run by and were initiated by club members who also volunteer their time to run them:
- Tuesday morning Yoga followed by Skills and Drills.
- Friday 6pm “Friday Night Lights”. It’s a fun session for all levels with music and the occasional theme night.\
- Friends and Family” on Saturdays and Sundays for 2 hours in the late afternoon. It is members introducing the sport to their friends and family and one of our members is always there to help with instruction and encouragement.
- Clinics to work on skills and drills. Our 3 rd shot clinic proved very popular.
- Mini tournaments on Saturday or Sunday evenings.
- July 1 st event where we open the courts for the public to give it a try.
- Trillium inter-club League
- Halloween President vs Vice President tournament
- Social Pickleball trips to other venues
We invested in equipment and technology to create the best of experiences for our members including:
- Leaf blowers, squeegees, and rollers for drying the courts,
- Storage boxes
- Paddle boards
- Court Reserve booking software licences
- Signal App for member communications with sub-groups helping members reach out to each other and keep updated with playing conditions and plans.
- Ball machine
Running our club is a challenge but so rewarding. The board of directors who are all volunteers put in many hours trying to get it right under th eleadership of President Carolyn Buck. The best part of being part of the board of directors is the positive feedback we get from our members. It makes it all worth while when someone comes up to you and says, “Thank You”.
Thank you for consideration as Canada's Best Pickleball Club of 2023