Thoughts…Analysis…Action…A Call for the Pickleball Community to Wake Up to Reality! (Part 3)

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

Returning from a great Thanksgiving trip to Portland, I went to Fort Boise to play some pickle ball on the morning of Friday 24th. Great games with amazing players, including John Sweeting’s family, his daughter and son in law and a visitor from Bend, Oregon. After a couple games with high level players, I spent the rest of the day at the intermediate courts. As we finished at 1:30 PM, because nothing was going on at that gym after 12 Noon, I received the first personal opinion about the discussion that these series of articles are about.

In this fellow athlete’s opinion, he doesn’t agree with the amount of money to build the 12 courts in Hobble Creek. In his mind, it could be a lot cheaper to have a series of tennis courts painted with the pickle ball lines, opening an infinity of opportunities for all the players of this area. He told me that he will write about his thoughts to BAPA site. I told him to do it, as we need to talk about and discuss the subject as a community. I disagree with him, as the main goal is to have a place that can hold great events, in order to place Idaho on the map of the national competitions. But I respect his point of view.

On the next morning, my choice was to try Settlers Park, and there was Timothy, Daryl, my competition partner Sarah Hart and Wayne. We played a couple games and then John’s family arrived to enjoy that cold morning outdoors.

We played from 9:30 till about 1:30 PM and at this time Joe had arrived half way to the end.

At that series of games, I played as a partner and against John Sweeting and his family. A very special note of appreciation for his daughter who shows the continuation of the quality of play of her father. She is an amazing athlete! During the game, she switches hands in a blink of the eye, without giving the opponents any clue if she is going left or right.

When I was partnered with John, I remembered our games at Bend last August, when he invited me to sub for his partner on that Regional competition. I think that this time he noted that I played a little better, as we had a great victory against our opponents. Well…humbling, I hope so…

As the morning went on with all the exciting and hard games, my mind was wondering about the presence of the real spirit of Pickleball. Here we are, me and John Sweeting, playing side by side, without one single word about our debate on the subject of Hobble Creek. What a great gentlemanly moment, in the name of sportsmanship and the pleasure to play this wonderful sport.

Then I was wondering and watching this great athlete and imagining his great work with the Hobble Creek project, together with Carson Spencer, with whom I also played this summer with and against, during the Round Robins in Manitou Park.

You see, the ingenuity from these two athletes in creating that set of courts, was indeed an amazing initiative that deserves all our respect and praise.

Unfortunately, as I said before, time goes by, and at this moment, we are still struggling to arrive at the point of at least having a time table to break ground for the courts. The letter from Parks and Recreation clearly can show us that.

So, here one more thought to add to our brainstorm. Hobble Creek is a work in progress, as we know. Is it a great initiative? Yes, it was when the project started and even is today, if we can have the courts ready by the end of next Spring. I’m saying this placing aside any of my previous concerns about the location, etc., as I explained in my original post.

However, as with everything in life that takes longer than we thought to accomplish, we need to review it, change the terms, cancel it, or even start a parallel plan while we wait.

Why not continue with our efforts with Hobble Creek, and at this moment, look for a contingent plan to have something NOW, in a more reliable location, that will allow us to have great events?

I’m totally for it and I will do my very best to accomplish this goal. As a community, we can unite our efforts, our knowledge of the region to arrive there. Maybe we will succeed or maybe not. If not, anyway, Hobble Creek is continuing to go forward and I believe that one day will be a reality. I only hope that the ones who placed their chips on that project in the first days will be alive to see it completed. We are not in our 20’s anymore…

As Saint Francis of Assisi said, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

However, one thing I will promise. If we succeed with this short term “Pickle Ball Events Complex,” I will do my very best to see that it will be named the “John Sweeting/Carson Spencer/Benefactor name – Pickleball Complex”. They deserve our respect and be honored by their initiative, dedication and interest in the growth of the sport in our Treasure Valley.

Thanks again for the attention and please, keep brainstorming and sending your ideas. We are all in the same boat on this. We need to place Idaho on the map of great pickle ball events.

I hope to see you guys on Kuna on December 16th and 17th for Kuna’s first Pickle Ball tournament. On the 16th Men and Women doubles and on the 17th Mixed Doubles. Players 3.0; 3.5 and 4.0+…my competition partner Sara Hart and I are signed up already.

Have a great week and paddles up…to be continued…

My best regards, Sill