Chatham-Kent Council will be asked to weigh in on whether to proceed with the development of up to 10 pickleball courts throughout the community in the wake of the provincial announcement Thursday that the municipality has received approval for nearly $430,000 in funding for the work.
Lambton–Kent–Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton participated in the announcement of $5.6-million in funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation Community Building Fund for sports and recreation facilities and community organizations in Southwestern Ontario.
The provincial funds cover approximately 80 per cent of court construction.
Chatham-Kent Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire thanked the province, noting support from senior levels of government is always gratifying.
Gord Quinton, Chatham-Kent’s General Manager of Finance and Budget said the timing of the approval means the project wasn’t included in the initial budget estimations.
“The grant does require the Municipality to contribute a portion of the capital costs and continued operational and lifecycle costs. Council will be presented with this new request when they begin 2022 Budget deliberations on January 26,” he said, in a media release.
The Municipality had applied for the funding in September, Municipal officials say.
The location and exact number of courts is still being discussed with local pickleball groups.
Mayor Darrin Canniff also noted that the funding announcement was welcome, however, as in all cases, council will have to examine the full impact of proceeding with the project.
“Senior government funding allows municipalities to undertake projects that they might not otherwise be able to consider,” he said, in a media release.
“In the end, council will make its decision based on the greatest good to the community and our ability to pay for our portion.”
In a report to council the benefits of pickleball in terms of exercise, competition and social interaction was noted.
“Pickleball is an easy to learn paddle sport that is appropriate for players of all ages and skill levels. Easy on the joints, it combines elements of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong, using a paddle and plastic ball with holes,” the report noted.
“It provides opportunities to work on balance, agility, reflexes and hand-eye coordination without straining your body excessively. It’s an excellent choice for all residents who played tennis previously.”
– Photo credit: Abarbanell
– Photo license: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)