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Oro-Medonte offering pickleball league and lessons for newbies

'I think this is a wonderful jump-start back into offering programming again in the township,' says councillor
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in Canada.

Pickleball, in case you haven’t heard, is the fastest growing sport in the country.

Often described as a combination of tennis, Ping-Pong and badminton, pickleball is played by more than 1.4 million Canadians at least once a month, according to Canada’s Sport Information Resource Centre. 

As part of its spring and summer program offering, Oro-Medonte Township will be offering pickleball lessons and a pickleball league for beginners, at W.R. Best Public School, beginning next week.

For folks 18 years and older, the beginners Pickleball League starts Apr. 10 for 10 weeks. A developmental doubles league where each player does not need to have a registered partner, players will be assigned to matches and will be competing for individual points and league ranking. Paddles will be provided for players who do not have their own. This league is for new or inexperienced pickleball players. 

Also for those over the age of 18, pickleball lessons for beginners will introduce players to the game where they can learn and improve their pickleball basics and be able to play with confidence at the end of the eight-week program, beginning Apr. 15. 

Coaches will cover the fundamentals of serving, return and volley. All players will be assessed based on the Canadian Pickleball Rating system on the last day. All abilities and skill levels are welcome. Players are encouraged to bring their own paddles; however, paddles will be available for purchase.

“I think this is a wonderful jump-start back into offering programming again in the township,” said Oro-Medonte Ward 3 Coun. David Clark at last week’s council meeting when the recreation programs were presented to council. “I think we’re going to continue to see an increased involvement in our community in these camps as people continue to look for different opportunities.”

Diversity is the key to spring and summer programs in the township this year. 

For children, the township is offering art, dance, basketball and ‘run the trail’ opportunities. 

For adults, there are knitting lessons, strength and conditioning sessions, yoga and Zumba lessons.

June is Recreation and Park Month (JRPM), a month of special activities that showcase the benefits of recreation and parks for physical, social, and environmental health.

Oro-Medonte is offering its residents the opportunity to participate in free programs throughout the month.

On Saturday, June 8, the Carley Community Hall will host Sunshine and Summer, an hour of songs, stories and games. There will be two sessions, one for two to four-year-olds and another one for five to eight-year-olds.

A week later, June 15, adults can visit Sweetwater Park and take in a morning yoga lesson.

On June 23, the whole family can spend the morning at Bayview Memorial Park. 

At 8:30 a.m., ‘Family Fitness at the Beach’ kicks off with a family bootcamp style cardio class with a view of the beautiful waterfront. The class will consist of creative intervals and circuit style training. Dynamic full body exercises using body weight exercises, calisthenics, and great music to make you sweat.

Immediately following, at 9:30, the park will host ‘Adults Cardio kick at the Beach’. This class, for those 18 years of age and older, focuses on posture, strength, stability, and mobility, with 30 minutes of strength training using bands and light weights followed by 30 minutes of stretching and relaxation.

After the school year finishes, the township will be kicking off a wide variety of summer camps, for children aged four to 15.

For the little ones, ages four to six, the township will be hosting general camps at the Oro-Medonte Community Arena. A new camp starts every Monday. Campers will enjoy a variety of activities including arts and crafts, traditional camp games, songs, sports and water play while making new friends and participating in indoor and outdoor play. Each week will be filled with new programming including a special guest. The camp runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

For children ages seven to 12, the township is hosting Ready, Set, Go Camp, also at the Oro-Medonte Community Arena. Campers will take part in camp crafts, sports, traditional camp games and songs. Each week will feature a different theme and special guest to keep things exciting. It runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

There are a number of new camps for children aged seven to 12, including basketball camp, a multi-sports camp and a pickleball camp. The location of the new camps has yet to be determined.

The township is also going to host specialty camps at Guthrie Public School, Shanty Bay Public School and W.R. Best Public School. The Simcoe County District School Board does not approve permit requests until June. At that time, those who are registered in a Specialty Camp will be emailed the updated location.

Another new program being offered by the township is Counsellor in Training (CIT), which includes a mandatory CIT training session on June 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Targeted to 14 and 15-year-olds, the mandatory training session will teach participants leadership techniques, customer service skills, behaviour management and what it takes to become a camp counsellor. 

Participants will then be placed into a camp setting, assisting camp groups and supporting the staff team. 

The mandatory training session must be attended to volunteer at camp. Participants can register for a maximum of two weeks (of the four available) of camp volunteering. 

The mandatory CIT training session, for 14 and 15-year-olds, will be held at the Oro-Medonte Community Arena. Before volunteering in camps, participants must register for and attend the June 9 training session. No exceptions will be made.

For more information and fees, please visit


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Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Wayne Doyle covers the townships of Springwater, Oro-Medonte and Essa for BarrieToday under the Local Journalism Initiative (LJI), which is funded by the Government of Canada
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