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Truro News - 2021-07-22

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Official pickleball courts being considered for Cougar Dome

SPORTS

RICHARD MACKENZIE TRURO NEWS richard.mackenzie @saltwire.com

TRURO, N.S. - The idea of official pickleball courts at the Cougar Dome has been served up. Now, will it be returned? “Our proposal is, we would help out financially, but there are certain concessions we want,” said Paul Tufts, president of the Colchester Pickle Ball Association. “Most importantly, to make four official pickleball courts at the Cougar Dome.” Dome manager François Giguere said discussions are ongoing. “They have groups which play regularly, and they’re interested in our facility to see what the possibilities are here,” he said. “We have some choices to make.” Where the courts would be located would be a big one. There is the tennis side to consider or the artificial turf side. “We have so many partners on the turf side,” Giguere said. “We have met with them to see what the possibilities are and what are their concerns, and so on.” An official pickleball court is 44 feet by 20 feet. In the meantime, staff at the dome have temporarily turned one of their tennis courts – the one furthest from the turf side – into four pickleball courts using tape. “It’s for the summer and the fall because our tennis players are currently playing at the Truro Tennis Club,” Giguere said. “We wanted to have some tests in the summer and provide an opportunity for the community here. We’ll see how it goes.” It has also been a chance to introduce the sport to youth attending summer camps at the dome. Giguere talked about the recreation departments for both the Town of Truro and Municipality of the County of Colchester getting together during the spring to talk about the growth of pickleball. “They identified that the growing popularity of pickleball has made it interesting (to consider) hosting it here permanently,” he said. “But there are many aspects to the dome. We have the tennis courts, the turf, the track. Everything needs to be taken into consideration to see if it’s possible to make this a hub for pickleball. “I do think there is a need, the popularity of the sport has skyrocketed.” Tufts said having official courts would be unique in the province. “There isn’t another official sized pickleball court in Nova Scotia,” he said. “Everyone has been using converted tennis courts, but nothing that was officially built for the sole purpose of pickleball.” Local pickleball players have been using a couple of Truro locations to enjoy their sport; the Langille Athletic Centre gymnasium on the DAL-AC campus and the Douglas Street Recreation Centre gymnasium. “There is definitely a positive response from the Cougar Dome,” Tufts said. “I think they would like to see it happen and we would like to see it happen. I think it’s just about agreeing on what we’ve proposed.” Giguere said the most important thing is consultation with all parties who would be impacted. “We need to be very careful about what we’re doing, and I think we’re proceeding with the right steps,” he said.

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