Kingston to host Canadian Pickleball championships

Kingston is hosting the 2019 Canadian Pickleball championships this weekend (June 28-30) at the Invista Centre.

More than 500 athletes have registered to play in the three-day national competition.

Pickleball is said to be the fastest growing sport in North America.

It is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong and played on a badminton-sized court with a lower net. The paddles are three times the size of a ping-pong paddle and its played with a plastic whiffle ball.

“We’re so excited to be hosting this championship,” said Ryan Hanes, president of the Kingston Pickleball Club.

Hanes said they have a two-year agreement which runs through 2020. Winning the bid to host the championships was a feather in the club’s cap.

“We worked hard to get this event. With the help of Tourism Kingston, we made it happen,” continued Hanes.

“Our club is only three years old but our numbers have tripled since forming in 2016. It is a sport that’s really catching on. We had an amazing crew of volunteers today helping to set up the 28 courts needed to hold this huge competition.”

Hanes says there’s a reason the sport has taken off.

“It’s a sport that’s easy to play. It appeals to men and women of all ages. You can play at the recreation level, or at a really high level, which you will see this weekend. Canada has some of the best players in the world.”

The 2019 event will be the largest pickleball tournament ever held in Canada. Hanes says the economic impact on the city of Kingston will be huge.

“We have more than 500 registered players who are coming to the Limestone city,” said Hanes, who is also serving as the tournament’s director.

“Hotels, motels, and restaurants will do a brisk business this weekend. The city has been so supportive and Tourism Kingston has been amazing.

We have an incredible group of volunteers and we feel we’re ready to put on a great event.”

Matches will be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and admission is free of charge.

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