History of the Silveridge Pickleball Club

October 2009 – March 2010:

There were 2 courts and pickleball was starting to catch on as an easy game to learn and play. Phil Peskett was instrumental in promoting pickleball at Silveridge. There were less than 2 dozen players.

October 2010 – March 2011:

There were approximately 30 members. Silveridge pickleball club was formed and an executive appointed. More courts were needed. Several members joined Phil Peskett to build two additional temporary courts. This involved having the boxes made to hold the posts, obtaining and hanging the nets and getting down on their hands and knees on the cement to paint the lines. These courts worked very well for the number of members that we had. Joe Botero, the manager at that time, was approached to make these additional courts permanent.

October 2011 – March 2012:

Silveridge management came through with two more permanent courts. As the level of expertise improved, these courts were found to be unsafe. The players were running into the basketball hoop stands, tripping over balls coming in from other courts, slipping off the edge of the sidewalk or falling on the slippery surface of the courts themselves. As these injuries were significant, management was approached and recommendations were made to make the courts safer. That year the Renters Association helped with the purchase of a court roller, wooden paddles and balls for public use and a new equipment locker.

October 2012 – March 2013:

A committee was formed to improve the courts. Alan LePoudre drew up a letter which was signed by Jim Knox, The Caracas, and Ed Wladyko with recommendations as to how this could be achieved. This committee passed on the club’s concerns of safety issues to management and to the owner of the park.

October 2013 – March 2014:

The basketball hoops were removed. Silveridge Park Manager, Joe Botero, retired. Shawn Codina was appointed as our new Silveridge Park Manager. He was invited to come to see what pickleball was all about and how much the membership had increased in numbers. He was impressed. After several more meetings with him, a plan for improved courts was submitted. The executive received a promise that the pickleball courts would be improved over the summer of 2014.

October 2014 – March 2015:

During the summer of 2014, the four old courts were demolished and replaced with four new courts. They turned out to be beautiful and safe! The executive was still making plans to incorporate the pagoda and make it the central gathering place for our members while waiting for games. At that time, the executive asked that gates be installed to close off the perimeter of the courts. Safety on the courts was greatly improved.

October 2015 – March 2016:

New gates were installed on the perimeter of the courts over the summer. A committee was struck to look into increasing the number of courts and to have a covered area built for equipment and notice boards near the pagoda. The executive also requested night lights for night play and shaded bleachers to be installed at the south end of the courts for viewing the games.

The club grew to over 163 active members by March 2016.

October 2016 – March 2017:

The Silveridge Pickleball Club made big strides in 2016.  The third year of new courts was a draw for new players. The executive realized future improvements to the courts would require an organized fundraising campaign to subsidize any improvements made by the Silveridge RV Resort. The plastic bottle collection program and basket raffles were proposed and approved.  Club members eagerly participated in these programs and made them a success in the first year.

Gary LaValley’s introduction of skill development clinics, round robin play for different skill levels, referees training, new member’s education, and SignUpGenius raised the club to a whole new level of achievement.  Silveridge RV Resort now has the foundation for an elite pickleball program.

Membership reached 163 at the end of March 2017.

October 2016 - March 2017:  

Another big year for the Silveridge Pickleball Club. The club’s fund raising efforts did well.

The executive met with General Manager of the Silveridge RV Resort on January 4th.  Unfortunately, the owners of the Silveridge RV Resort were unable to approve additional courts and a new storage shed by the gazebo.  With money from the Renters Association, Silveridge RV Resort and the clubs own funds there were a number of improvements.  New safety gates were installed, a new leaf blower and new nets were bought, an upgrade to SignUpGenius, a Dyno practice backboard, a rain shuttle, stacking chairs, 2 instant-up canopies were purchased.

Gary LaValley organized the first in park tournament for the different skill levels.  It was very professionally done complete with referees, medical staff, etc. The social events were becoming more frequent and improved.

Another monumental event was Gary LaValley drafting a new constitution for the Silveridge Pickleball Club.

Membership as of March 2017 reached 199.

October 2017 – March 2018:  

Improvements included a new larger and portable storage shed and a small storage shed for the ball machine.  Topping the list for 2018 was a new pickleball ball machine.  The Renters Association, Silveridge RV Resort and the Club contributed towards this purchase.

The executive was constantly challenged with improving the schedule, so everybody gets equal playing time, providing practice time for tournament players and time for non-members to play.  Part of the solution was going to six groups and eliminating any inter-park play. The in-park tournament was another big success.  The social events were well attended and overall the club did well with four courts and a growing membership.

Membership topped out at 195 in March 2018.

October 2018 – March 2019:

Improvement for 2019 included a new outdoor whiteboard/bulletin board and retractable sunscreens for the gazebo. A notable event was the vote by the membership for revisions to the constitution. The executive decided to go with the green Duro 40 ball for the club members to use.

The mission for the executive in the spring of 2019 was to plan and put forward a proposal to the Silveridge RV Park owners for more courts.  Negotiations with the Silveridge Tennis Club, to use one of their courts for pickleball, weren’t successful because the Easter Valley Seniors Tennis League has determined that a tennis court would be considered unplayable with additional lines for tournament play.  However, the executive still included this in their proposal and offered three options.

  1. Build new courts. The plans and drawings were already done.
  2. Convert a tennis court to pickleball courts with permanent marking, but temporary nets. This way the tennis club can still use the court for special occasions.
  3. Improve the lighting for more night play.

The Silveridge RV Resort owners turned down the first two options but, agreed to look at the changing and adding of new lights.  However, this wasn’t accomplished in 2019. The executive will continue to advocate for more courts and improvements.

The membership eagerly participated in the social events, round robin play, tournaments and fund raising. The year-end tournament was changed to a fun tournament which resulted in more members participating.

The club continued to grow with a total of 239 members on March 31, 2019.

October 2019 – March 2020:

During the winter season the Club held 4 Fun Pickleball Playtime & Social Events, which were all well attended. Basket raffles and plastic bottle recycling continued to be major fund raising events. More than approximately 180 people attended the clinics: Introduction to Pickleball Ball 50+ participants, Group 1.0 & 2.0 clinics 59, the Group 2.5, 3.0 & 3.5 clinics 57, and Group 4.0 clinics 28. The Club also held demonstrations on how to use the Pickleball Ball Machine. Approximately 50 members attended the February 5 bingo to support the Renter’s Association. 36 members participated in the February 29 tournament for Groups 1.0 and Groups 2.0 & 2.5.

A new club pickleball shirt design was selected and 60 shirts were purchased.

The new Silveridge Pickleball Club website was rolled out.

The executive met with Silveridge Resort Management in March: new lights will be installed in 2020 to facilitate night time play; Management liked the idea of building 2 more pickleball courts, which will be discussed with the owner for approval; recommended to replace fencing between courts and reinforce the bottom of the fence in some locations.

The Annual General Meeting was held in March with approximately 140 members in attendance. During the meeting the by-law was amended to include the Communications Officer as a position on the executive.

The March 14 tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19. Covid-19 became a pandemic and the Canadian government asked Canadians to travel back to Canada in March, which cut the season short for some members.

Membership as of March 2020 was 224, which included 59 new members.

October 2020 – March 2021:

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to an issue and the Club Executive Team begins working on a COVID-19 Safe Pickleball Play Plan. The purpose of this document was to summarize the current best practices that support safe and appropriate recreational play for players. The #1 goal was to keep players safe while enjoying the game. We really never had an infestation of COVID-19 at the Silveridge Resort that could arguably be traced to Pickleball!

The previous year, there were more than 100 Canadian members of the pickleball club. During the 2020-21 season, only a handful of Canadians were able to travel to Silveridge.  A number of American members also chose not to travel to Silveridge due to COVID-19 concerns. Nevertheless, total membership still reached 133, which included 63 new members (new to the game of pickleball or to the Silveridge Resort).

The Club did not hold any social events, due to the pandemic. The Basket Raffle Committee and volunteers sold tickets for 3 baskets at the Annual General Meeting and during the Silveridge Resort March Patio Sale. The Plastic Bottle Collection fund raising initiative was cancelled for the season.

New this season was the installation of lights on the courts for new evening play sessions: Monday night ladies league and mixed doubles on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Introduction to Pickleball Ball clinics were scheduled and attended by approximately 40 people.

The Club President will continue his discussions with the Management of Silveridge Resort in regards to gaining more pickleball courts.

The Annual General Meeting was held on the green next to the Pickleball gazebo with approximately 48 members in attendance. During the meeting the members voted to increase the annual membership fee from $10 to $15. John Faktor resigned from the Treasurer position and Jim Baker replaced him. All other executive officers will remain in their current positions for the 2021-22 season.

October 2021 – March 2022:

Even with Covid-19 still lingering, the Club was very busy with 256 members, which includes 87 new members. Organized play started October 31, 2021. The Social Committee held 2 Fun Pickleball Playtime & Social events, a skills challenge event and Pickleball Olympics, which were all well attended. They also attended the Silveridge RV Resort Club Expo Event and sold 25 Club t-shirts. The Basket Raffle Committee sold tickets at 3 basket raffle events and members volunteered during the winter months for the plastic bottle recycling, which continue to be major fund-raising events. Approximately 180 people attended the clinics, which were taught by our higher skill level members: 6 Introduction to Pickleball Ball sessions had 50+ participants, the 12 other clinics had 130 participants. 3 King of the Hill and 2 double knock-out tournaments were held. A few other improvements were new medal court signs; paddles for public use; new timer clock; new bulletin boards at gazebo. Round Robin Captains were implemented to facilitate play and welcome new members during round robin sessions. Members continue to enjoy playing under the court lights in the evenings. New to the court schedule was Wednesday evening men’s league and Thursday evening round robin play. The Club Executive continues to meet and have open dialogue with the Silveridge RV Resort Management regarding the idea of additional pickleball courts and required improvements for existing pickleball areas. The Annual General Meeting was held with approximately 140+ members in attendance. During the AGM the resort manager spoke and answered members questions. A few members organized a private Glow-in-the-dark evening event on March 25 and used the courts to play pickleball in the dark! Organized round robin play ended April 1, 2022.

images (1)