Sports enthusiasts were thrilled to be back on the courts and golf courses Saturday, delighted to have a great day for the provincial opening of outdoor amenities.
The Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club is booking members only until the end of May, and had no problem filling their tee times. They will begin booking times for the public June 1.
Joe Doria, Noel Morris, Rob Reimer and Roman Mamalyga were the first foursome on the course Saturday morning.
They were elated to get out and play for the first time in weeks. Doria said it was his second time this year being the first to tee off. There were 12 club members, who had the first three tee times booked for the day, regulars who like to play early in the morning.
NOTL Tennis Club members were out on the Memorial Park courts first thing, as were pickleball players in Virgil, as soon as they were legally allowed to take part in the sports they love.
The splash pad and skateboard park in Virgil were also busy with the younger crowd happy to have some outdoor fun permitted by the province.
There are restrictions and protocols to follow, but at least they were able to get outside in the good weather, and do more than walk, jog or cycle, enjoying the social contact they’ve been missing as much as the physical activity.
While NOTL Pickleball Club members were out and ready to play when the courts opened at 8 a.m., the club has not reopened nor has a date been determined for that to happen, and the schedule is still being finalized, with lots of time for the public as well.
“Hard-core” members Elaine Somerville, Andrew Calnek, and Jerry and Barb Eitze were happy to be out, saying they played on winter days when they had to shovel snow off the courts, so Saturday felt pretty good. NOTL has one of the best facilities in the region, and attracts members from all over, says Calnek, some of them out for the socializing as much as the game, and others very competitive players. Although most of the NOTL club has a reputation for being more a recreational club, it attracts players of all skills levels, he adds.
When the club reopens, for insurance purposes, only members of both the NOTL Pickleball Club and Pickleball Canada will be permitted to play during the club scheduled times, says club president John Hindle.
The use of these courts are free, he adds. He wants to be sure residents of NOTL understand it is not the intention of the club to dominate the use of these courts, so they should be confident that even during club scheduled times, residents are always welcome to join in (for a maximum of three times) and then hopefully will choose to become a member.
All non-club scheduled times are open to the public for residents’ use between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily, says Hindle.
Anyone interested in playing, or joining the club, should visit notlpickleball.ca. Or to ask a question, book a family session to learn how to play, or share a compliment or complaint, says Hindle, email firstname.lastname@example.org