The Quesnel Pickleball Club is excited lighting will be installed for all six pickleball courts at West Fraser Timber Park following a regular city council meeting on Tuesday, June 7.
Council approved reallocating funds in the capital plan previously budgeted for the replacement of the men’s baseball diamond backstop to install lighting on the pickleball and tennis courts, based on a financial contribution of $13,000 from the club.
City director of community services Jeff Norburn said the club had contacted city staff in March 2022, advising them of successfully obtaining a $10,000 grant to light a portion of the pickleball courts.
On Wednesday, April 13, the city’s executive committee directed staff to work with the Quesnel Pickleball Club to provide an estimated cost to light all the courts after the club presented its request to install lights for two of the six pickleball courts.
The estimated cost is $90,000.
The Quesnel Pickleball Club has secured an additional $3,000 in self-funds and in-kind donations toward the project, resulting in an estimated cost of $77,000 to the city.
“I think it’s extremely positive that the club itself took the initiative to move this forward,” said city councillor Scott Elliott.
“It’s reminiscent of a few years ago with all the youth that were involved in the skateboard park and wanted to move it forward as well—they put in the hard work, and then we do what we can to help. It’s a good project, so kudos to them.”
Although Norburn confirmed there are supply chain issues, Quesnel Pickleball Club president Sharon MacDonald said they hope to get the project started by the end of June.
She believes the lit-up courts will not only be a drawing card for the fast-growing sport but attracting new residents, specifically retirees, to Quesnel.
“As the fall approaches, we’ve got less and less time out on the courts not because people don’t want to play, it’s just because it gets dark earlier and earlier, so this will give us a lot more time both in the morning and in the evenings that people can play.”
MacDonald gave special thanks to pickleball members Fernando Barbosa and Wendy Forsythe for their hard work in making the lighting project a success.
In the future, the club hopes to have access to water without having to bring water for players or for players having to go down to the washrooms where the taps are not water-bottle friendly.
“The ultimate goal is to have a winter home,” MacDonald added.
(Correction: Director of community services Jeff Norburn was incorrectly identified as the city manager)
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