Dennis McMahon, Linda McMahon, Dawn Erickson, Jenny Loman, Bob Sisson, Cindy Morgan, Ian Butland, Laura Butland, Debbie Myers, Keith Vodden and Sandy Laneville (introductory clinic instructor). Courtesy Photo

SOUTH MOUNTAIN – The results are in exercise is the best way to better health.

Developing a consistent and repeatable exercise routine is not easy. North Dundas residents have discovered an easy and fun way to increase their investment in their own physical health by signing up for pickleball. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in North America, and with the support of the township of North Dundas, pickleball is becoming the fastest growing sport in North Dundas as well.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. Three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum are credited for creating the game. Pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the US and Canada, played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes in it. The game is growing internationally as well, with many European and Asian countries adding courts. Pickleball courts have been set up in Winchester, South Mountain and in Chesterville on their respective tennis courts.

North Dundas resident Cindy Morgan is an avid supporter of the game.

Morgan explained, “My sister-in-law in Sherbrooke, Quebec was very keen on this sport and kept talking about it, so I got curious. I asked her about it, and she gave me a brief introduction last summer. In September, when I saw a notice on Facebook about playing Pickleball in South Mountain, I decided to go over to the courts and give it a try. It was such a welcoming group and I enjoyed playing so much I just kept going.”

One of Morgan’s concerns was that she was recently retired and was looking for ways to keep active and at the same time enjoy being with other members of her community.

“Pickleball certainly did that for me. Pickleball seemed less threatening and more open to a diverse group of players. I enjoy playing it because it challenges me but I can feel successful too. The groups I play with tend not to take themselves too seriously, so we are just out to have some fun and laughter,” said Morgan.

Pickleball is unique in that it is a racket sport kind of game because all the action is around the net, which means there is less running to do.

Players have said that because the game is simple, just about anyone with any racket experience can enjoy playing it.

The court is smaller than a tennis court.

Morgan said, “Many of our players began playing this year. We had 85 adults take introductory lessons this spring and many of them are now joining us during open play. If someone wants a lesson they can contact Sandy Laneville and make arrangements for a lesson. Sandy and Andy Laneville have been an integral part of developing pickleball in this area. Sandy began the conversations with the township three years ago and Sandy and Andy have led the introductory clinics.”

Because of the support of the municipality the game and number of players has blossomed in the area.

“Even though it is now summer and people have begun to go away for vacations, there are still plenty of people coming out to play. It takes four people to play the game and we have always had enough people to do that,” said Morgan.

The pickleball schedule is:

Monday: 6:30-8:30 p.m. in South Mountain; 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Sam Ault Arena in Winchester

Tuesday: 9:00-11:00 a.m. in Chesterville

Wednesday: 9:00-11:00 a.m. in South Mountain

Thursday: 7:00-9:00 p.m. in Chesterville; 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Sam Ault Arena in Winchester

Contact Cindy at 613-407-4585 (Chesterville) or Dora 613-989-2118 (South Mountain) to make arrangements for equipment.

To keep up to date with what is happening with pickleball in North Dundas, you can join the Dundas Pickleball Group on Facebook or for more information contact Sandy Laneville at 613-774-2555 or Nancy Williams at 613-774-3200.