Pickleball fever hits Brome Lake

This past spring, a new sport appeared in Brome Lake. Pickleball combines elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton and attracts players from 40 to 85 years old.

Introduced by Jean-Martin Verreault, a TBL resident who had been playing in Bromont for a year, pickleball has 23 new players in Brome Lake and their enthusiasm bodes well for the sport’s future in the area. A pickleball social club is being set up to rent indoor space so that play can continue during the cold months.

Why such enthusiasm for pickleball? “It’s fun, but it’s also gentler on the joints than tennis and allows people to play longer without always worrying about injuries,” says Mr. Verreault. Everything is small- er: the court, the racquet; even the ball is lighter. According to players such as Lena Roberts and Rena Halickman, the sport is addictive – try it once and you’re hooked.

Popular in the United States for over 40 years, the sport was rumoured to have been named after the inventors’ ball-chasing dog, Pickles. In fact the name was derived from the rowing term “pickle boat,” a boat crewed by leftovers from other boats. The dog came later. It is thanks to TBL’s Recreation Services, which saw the sport’s potential, that pickleball arrived here. Three courts with permanent nets were opened at the beginning of the summer in the former skateboarding area of Lions Park. The town even bought racquets and balls to lend to players who signed up for a 10-week session. Anyone who would like to know more can go to the Facebook page Pickleball Lac- Brome.

Translation: Brian McCordick