Growing sport holds Island tourney at Fuller Lake Park

Nearly 100 pickleball players gathered at Fuller Lake Park last weekend for the Island championships.

Nearly 100 pickleball players gathered at Fuller Lake Park last weekend for the Island championships, and managed to avoid the nasty weather that was predicted, to award titles in four separate divisions.

“So many hard-fought and exciting games played in the competitive yet friendly atmosphere we have come to expect from our pickleball community,” Vancouver Island Pickleball Association president Ken Holman said.

Among the highlights of the tournament was the men’s doubles ‘A’ final, won by Barry Bissonnette of Chemainus and Ron Denman of Cedar. After losing their first game against finalists Mike Bellis and Wayne Russell 11-0, they bounced back to win the final two games and take the title. Third place in the men’s doubles went to Terry Glowczyski and Ronnie Pitcher.

The men’s doubles consolation round was won by Richard McKinley and Ryner Wilson over George Marinakis and Tom Wilson, with Thomas Rauber and Vincent Alvano taking third.

The women’s doubles ‘A’ flight went to the team of Claudia McLean and Pauline Davidson over Cathy Campbell and Nancy Stern, while Kathy Thomson and Heather Hood placed third. The consolation bracket was won by Glenda Sharpe and Suzanne Sigurdson over Leslie Black and Gwen Hay, with Arlene Thorne and Shirley Moore in third.

Nancy Stern and John Savoy won the mixed doubles ‘A’ flight over Barbara Moody and Mike Bellis, while Claudia McLean and Barry Bissonnette finished third. Jane and Neil Rich won the consolation bracket over Arlene Thorne and Ray Bradford, with Lissy and Thomas Rauber in third.

Ryner Wilson topped the men’s singles competition, followed by Mike Bellis in second and Wayne Russell in third.

“The popularity of this sport continues unabated with communities all over the Island scrambling to meet the demand,” Holman said. “We are so fortunate in the Cowichan Valley to have the six-court, dedicated facility at Fuller Lake which enables us to host this premier event. There is currently no other venue on the Island that can do this.”