It’s the news many pickleball fans have been waiting for: You now have more opportunities to play thanks to an array of expanded hours and programming at G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre!
Part of Saanich Recreation’s gradual expansion of services since its four centres began welcoming guests back in July, the pickleball news comes at an opportune time, as the wet fall weather limits the opportunity for outdoor play.
Following the other “reserved drop-in times,” like swimming at Gordon Head and Saanich Commonwealth Place, and fitness classes at all the centres, pickleball players can now reserve a court in the Fieldhouse for themselves and three friends, explains Sadeep Keram, programmer at G.R. Pearkes.
Given the 2-on-2 action of pickleball, players can stay active and social while still limiting their “bubble.” A few additional protocols are in play, however. Other than the nets, which Saanich staff will set up, participants must bring all their own equipment and follow physical distancing protocols.
For now, space can be reserved for 75 minutes, with two time slots available each on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, allowing time in between for thorough sanitizing.
“We’ll look at opening up additional spots according to demand,” Sadeep says.
More fun in the fieldhouse
With large trade shows on hold for the duration of the pandemic, more times for community bookings have also opened up in the Fieldhouse, notes G.R. Pearkes’ Facility Booking Coordinator Wanda Bousquet.
Housing four large sport courts, ideal for everything from indoor soccer practice and floor hockey to dryland training and roller skating, teams and community groups are enjoying the added opportunities to reserve the space for practices, training and activities, Wanda notes.
Sport court space is typically rented by the season, with groups currently reserving through fall; winter bookings start in the new year.
Finding more times for fitness
Weight rooms were among the first areas of Saanich recreation centres to open, but now additional days and times are helping accommodate the demand, notes fitness programmer Analise Ransier. More fitness and yoga classes are also on the schedule, along with personal training and weight room orientations, introducing teens and other newcomers to the fitness opportunities available in their neighbourhood.
“We’ve probably doubled what we had previously – people are returning and they’re feeling safe in their neighbourhood recreation centres,” Analise says.
“People are really happy coming back into the centre and building recreation back into their life.”