Letter to the Times Colonist Victoria BC Courtesy of Ernie Pallot, Parksville BC:
"Pickleball not only encourages a healthy lifestyle, it is also a useful therapeutic tool.
Last summer my colleague and I put together a team that successfully taught Parkinson’s sufferers how to play. It not only gives them temporary relief from their symptoms, it extends their life expectancy by slowing the progression of this disease. I have been in discussion with the president of an Okanagan Pickleball Club to offer pickleball to people going through drug addiction therapy. Another project I have in mind is to offer a wellness program to first responders and PTSD sufferers as an outlet to relieve stress.
Doctors recommend patients that are diagnosed with diabetes, COPD, MS, cardiac problems, and chronic obesity adopt an exercise program. Pickleball fits the bill perfectly. It is easy to learn, equipment is inexpensive, it provides the necessary physical and mental benefits. There is also a social aspect to this sport, can be played year round, but most importantly it is FUN, so it becomes a sport of a lifetime.
It is also a very cost effective recreation facility for communities to build. Compare the annual budget to build and maintain a pickleball complex to that of an ice rink, swimming pool, or grass sports field. No wonder it’s the fastest growing sport in North America." Read the full article with other letters to the editor here and thanks to Ernie for his very insightful and timely comments about the ways in which Pickleball can assist people of all walks of life, age, personal situation and state of health.
Qualicum Beach Oceanside Pickleball Club (OPC) Pilot Project:
Also see further discussion of Ernie's Qualicum Beach Oceanside Pickleball Club (OPC) pilot project conducted with a group of people with Parkinson's disease here and a photo of the pilot being conducted below. The next goal for Ernie is to share the results of the pilot project with Pickleball BC and Pickleball Canada. He hopes the information and data logged and collected during the pilot program can help other pickleball clubs initiate similar initiatives in their communities.
“Our team has compiled lesson plans and information on how to go about it,” said Pallot. “This information will gladly be shared with other interested organizations.”
Pickleball provides the mechanism to have fun and increased social contact. (Michael Briones photo)
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