Pickle ball players get festive in Port Alberni

Donna Michaud returns a volley from Bryce Barr during a fun pickle ball tournament with the PA Picklers Association, Dec. 14, 2021 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Donna Michaud returns a volley from Bryce Barr during a fun pickle ball tournament with the PA Picklers Association, Dec. 14, 2021 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Pam Donald backhands the ball over the net during a PA Picklers Association pickle ball tournament, Dec. 14, 2021 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. The game was part of a fun day of competition. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Pam Donald backhands the ball over the net during a PA Picklers Association pickle ball tournament, Dec. 14, 2021 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. The game was part of a fun day of competition. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Donna Michaud returns a serve during a pickle ball tournament Dec. 14, 2021 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. Michaud was one of two dozen players from the PA Picklers Association taking part in the fun holiday event. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Donna Michaud returns a serve during a pickle ball tournament Dec. 14, 2021 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. Michaud was one of two dozen players from the PA Picklers Association taking part in the fun holiday event. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Two dozen members of the Port Alberni Picklers Association donned their Christmas finest—reindeer antlers, Santa hats, “ugly” Christmas T-shirts and the Grinchiest green garb—for a fun pickle ball competition at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Dec. 14, 2021.

Pickle Ball is best described as a cross between table tennis and badminton. It is played in pairs and players use large paddles to hit balls over a net. It’s a popular sport in Port Alberni, both indoors and outdoors.

“We have 60 members” in the Picklers Association, said spokesperson Mike Bauer. Many have played together for the past seven or eight years. Once COVID-19 restrictions eased in the summertime players regularly used the outdoor courts at Gyro Park. “We started up again as soon as they let us,” Bauer said.

There is a range in ages of participants, and many of them travel south for the winter so the association is always looking for new members. They play three mornings a week whenever they can get into a hall.

Teams will be back at it after the Christmas holiday, and once public health restrictions around COVID-19 ease up again.

For more information, go to Facebook.com and search for the PA Picklers Association.

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