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Vernon Pickleball Association, Vernon, BC.

Vernon Pickleball Association is one of the Finalists for Canada's Best Pickleball Club. Here's some solid info about them.

Vernon Pickleball Association InsideVernon Pickleball Association

Vernon  is one of Canada's Best Pickleball Club Finalists in 2023.
Final VOTING for 2023 starts on Sept. 15 and ends Oct. 15, 2023.

Vernon Pickleball Association – A Canada's Best Pickleball Club Finalist 2023

The Vernon Pickleball Association (VPA) in Vernon, BC, a CANADA'S BEST PICKLEBALL CLUB 2023 FINALIST is a non-profit society that was incorporated nearly 10 years ago.  In those 10 years the VPA has grown from a few dozen enthusiastic early pickleball adopters to a club of 1,000 players of all skill levels and ages.  Considering that Vernon (B.C.) has a population of under 50,000 people, that's a whole lot of Pickleball players who congregate daily to play in what is 

Vernon Pickleball Association 1
 
The Okanagan Wealth Advisor's Pickleball Complex, affectionately called the Pickleball Palace, is the envy of many players and clubs across Canada, but it didn't happen just by chance.  A few visionaries in the VPA saw the need for dedicated Pickleball courts early on and started petitioning the City of Vernon in 2015.  In 2017 a lease agreement was reached with the various government agencies assigning the VPA to manage the construction and operations of 12 dedicated Pickleball Courts with land leased from the City of Vernon. In the spring of 2018, the VPA embarked on a significant fundraising initiative to pay for the courts and $111,000 was raised by the members.  In-kind donations of services and materials were received as well as sponsorship by local businesses.  In August 2018, the OWA Pickleball Complex opened with 12 outdoor courts.
 
However, this isn't the whole story – far from it!  The courts were always planned to be covered for year-round use, as Vernon's weather isn't exactly conducive for winter outdoor pickleball courts.  When COVID-19 hit, the VPA Board of Directors ramped up the planning process to enclose the courts, and the ‘Raise the Roof' fundraising campaign began.  To say the VPA membership achieved a miracle is an understatement!  The membership raised $1.2 million in less than two months, through a variety of means including debentures, pre-paid court fees and tax deductible donations. In the spring of 2021, the steel truss & fabric covered roof was complete, and year-round indoor play became a reality.
 
The VPA is currently embarking on Phase III of the complex, called ‘Hermann House' (after Wally Hermann, one of the founding members of VPA who passed away), which is a front office reception area, meeting room and changing rooms.  This will complete the OWA PIckleball Complex and is only possible due to our dedicated, involved and enthusiastic membership who have raised a total of $2.4 million dollars to complete the dream.  The volunteer hours for construction costs, along with the support and sponsorship of many community businesses has put the VPA Okanagan Wealth Advisors Pickleball Complex on the Canadian Pickleball map.
 
This year, the VPA hosted the very first BC Provincial Pickleball Championships with over 600 players participating, and also had the CNPL 3-day tryouts in June.  We are also able to hold tournaments earlier – and later – in the year than other clubs, and started the year with the Men's Doubles Frostbite classic in early March.  The club is run by a volunteer board of directors with many others volunteering on the numerous committees and volunteering throughout the year assisting with tournaments.  There are now four paid employees due to the club's size and busyness of the courts which are open 7 days/ week from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. We facilitate scheduled play sessions for all abilities of players; introductory lessons for new players, skills and drills for continued improvement as well as Junior programs.  Non members are also welcome to play and can book courts through the VPA website.
Vernon Pickleball Association 3
 
However, we're not just about Pickleball!  For the past two Christmases, the VPA has held a food bank donation fundraiser – collecting more than 1,000 lbs of goods for the local food bank.  The food is donated underneath what is likely the Worlds Biggest Pickleball Christmas Tree – standing over 17 ft tall and containing more than 800 (broken) pickleballs and 1,000 twinkling lights.
 
The mission of the Vernon Pickleball Association is to promote the development and growth of all aspects of the game of Pickleball – social, recreational and competitive – to individuals of all ages and abilities in Greater Vernon. Come and see what we're all about if you're in the area, or visit our website at www.vernonpickleball.com and follow us on Facebook under VernonPickleballAssociation.
Patrick Batty
the authorPatrick Batty
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