Thoughts ….Analysis…Action…A Call for the Pickleball Community to Wake Up to Reality!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Boise Area Pickleball Association.

By Sill Lyra

Time flies…our minds need constant reminders about things in general, as our daily lives keep us busy and occupied with our general survival. Yes, we lose track of things very easily. It is very human.

I’m a newcomer to the sport and member of both clubs. For me, it is easy to look everything with a different perspective because it is all fresh to me.

A subject came to my analysis and I would like to place on the table for brainstorming, discussion and, if possible…action for us as a pickleball community.

Well, the Pickleball community, settled a deal three years ago with a City Agency to build a set of courts that at that time was going to cost around $400,000.00.

The Pickleball clubs were asked to contribute $150,000.00.

Today that cost, I learned, would be around $600.000.00, and the local clubs have only raised $50,000.00.

So, the City Agency will only start the “construction” when the clubs come up with the money or close to the total.

Let’s calculate at least 6 more years to complete the club’s responsibility.

By that time, following the rising of the costs in the last 3 years, the project may cost about $1,200,000.00.

Who can guarantee that the agency will maintain that deal?

Even if they do that, who will be able to manage the new facilities? Would the focus be competitions or just playing for fun? The club BAPA, I know, is competition/growth oriented as you can see by the posts on this site.

They have a budget of $ 8,000.00 for competitions. How much is the budget from the other club for competitions? If anyone knows please tell me.

We are the athletes! We are the sport, we are trying to raise that money and to have a decent place to play and to place Idaho on the national map.

DSC_0007Well, I think that we can find and contact other agencies that can build something decent now. We have about 223,000 inhabitants in our area. Bend, Oregon and Brighton City in Utah, with only about 18,000 or 19,000 people, built state-of-the-art outdoors facilities, with about 17 courts, bathrooms and all necessary space for amenities, vendors and large parking areas, as you all can see in the pictures.

Does the place for the project that we are struggling to raise money for have that kind of space? I don’t think so!

I went there and found out that is a very compact area, with extremely limited parking space, surrounded by houses and a school.

DSC_0010Maybe it would be good for a couple courts, but not for organizing high level events, like Regional and even National Pro circuit competitions. The BAPA club organized an amazing Senior Games this year at Settlers Park. Can you imagine what this Club could do with a facility with 17 courts dedicated to pickleball? Thinking about the universe of possibilities for all of us blows my mind…

This is the fastest growing sport in the US.

DSC_0001 (1)How many times last summer were there invitations on Facebook from players to meet at the location of the project and nobody showed up, as they prefer Settlers Park in Meridian?

We don’t need 3 or 4 more courts. We need a Pickleball sports complex that will bring the best players from all over the US to our region.

DSC_0011The facility in Bend is out of the residential area. To get there, we needed to take the highway that circumvents the city. In Brigham City, the facilities are also in an area of open space, with great parking facilities and even space for RV’s etc. See pictures please.

The USAPA is promoting the creation of National Leagues. Who will be the first clubs to do this? A club without connection with the competitive aspects of the sport, or a club that demonstrates vision about the future of the sport?

I think that it is time to review the deal in all aspects. Times change. The sport today is not the same as was 3 years ago. The growth is constant and we need to not miss the train.

On this site you can see how competition-oriented the facilities are in Brigham City, with also ways to develop and bring more players to the sport.

http://brighamcity.utah.gov/pickleball-lessons–leagues.htm

By the time they had the 5th Annual Tournament of Champions that I participated in, the large city-operated complex had 17 dedicated courts, with all possible amenities and space.

The City of Meridian has a total connection with BAPA and their vision for competition and growth of the athlete.

I propose that we start a project to contact different agencies to build up a pickleball facilities complex. It can be anywhere, such as Meridian, Eagle etc.

In my research, I found that Meridian has this vision:

As a community our focus on being a Star of the New West begins with transforming Meridian into a 21st century city. Meridian is uniquely conducive to supporting a broad array of business activities while maintaining the high quality lifestyle and focus on families we so greatly value. Fulfilling the needs of businesses and families begins with having a safe and caring community that provides quality education, family-wage jobs, cutting-edge healthcare, diverse housing options, a trained workforce, as well as an abundance of recreation, shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities.

This vision is in complete harmony with our sport at Settlers Park and the Home Court YMCA that will be part of the city of Meridian next Summer, if I’m not mistaken.

Hey! We already have $50,000.00 to contribute…unless some donors back out, because the original plan may change.

Well, the donation was for pickleball and not for some defined place.

With my very low income, I contributed with a brick for that project. I will keep my donation if we change for a different project. I officially take back my donation for that old project. It makes no sense for me at this time.

We humans have reason instead of simply animal instinct, or maybe a combination of both. But our brains can decide what is best for ourselves and the ones around us. We are not cows or sheep to be herded…we can make decisions and go for it…

You see…in life, “If you snooze you lose”…now it is time for a different strategy, exactly like in a pickleball game…

Let’s think about it…talk about it…and of course take action!

Paddles up!

Sill Lyra