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First ever Berwick UVic Women’s Pickleball Tournament

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April 8, 2024

SAANICH – The first ever Berwick UVic Women’s Pickleball Tournament is taking place Saturday, April 13 from 9am-5:00 p.m. at the University of Victoria’s CARSA fieldhouse with over 125 women taking part in the one-day event. Teams will be playing at the beginner and intermediate levels in a doubles format and will be divided into three different skill brackets ranging in age from 23 to 88 years old. This is one of three tournaments hosted by the Victoria Regional Pickleball Association (VRPA) in the Victoria area.

“We conducted a survey of our female membership, and many responded that they didn’t enter tournaments because they felt intimidated. We also know that 70% of registrants in our tournaments are male, we wanted to change that,” said President of the VRPA, Connie McCann. “This is the first step in creating an environment in which women can feel supported and confident in playing in their first pickleball tournament.”

UVic is pleased to offer the facility to VRPA and in supporting pickleball to women in the region. “We are excited to partner with Berwick House to bring the first-time tournament attendees into our facility and showcase our pickleball spaces and programs,” said Jason Wright, Vikes recreation programmer. “This event brings together a wide range of ages coming together for a first-time tournament experience for many participants. As we prepare for our summer camp season it is a wonderful reminder to nurture the kid who plays in all of us, whether you are eight, 38, 58 or 88.”

Joining UVic as a title sponsor is Berwick Retirement Community. “We are so proud to be the title sponsor of the 2024 Berwick UVic Women’s Pickleball Tournament, an event that aligns so well with our values of active and enriched lifestyles, community engagement and well-being,” said Director of Sales, Marketing & Internal Community Engagement at Berwick, Lesley Sikorski. “Pickleball is such an inclusive and friendly sport for all ages. It promotes physical health and strengthens bonds between teams, and it’s an excellent way to foster a sense of unity and team spirit.”

Pickleball is attracting all ages to the tournament, including Penny Goldrick, the oldest competitor to compete at 88 years old. “I played competitive tennis for over 70 years, representing Canada in world team tennis competitions. Then during the early days of Covid, my tennis friends and I formed a group to play pickleball outside during the winter. We instantly loved pickleball because people who have never played racquet sports or any sport can take it up quite easily. For me it is much more inclusive than tennis.”

For Jasmin Ford, one of the youngest competitors in the tournament at age 26, the tournament offers a chance to expand her experience in the sport. “I played a little bit of pickleball as a kid but was reintroduced to it earlier this year when my partner and I decided to take some beginner lessons. I have been hooked on the sport ever since and have enjoyed becoming part of the pickleball community here in Victoria! I am very excited to join the Berwick UVic Women's Tournament to take my first step into the competitive side of pickleball, in an environment catered to providing women with experience in a tournament setting.”

VRPA was created in 2016 with 33 dedicated pickleball players. The Association grew to 220 members in 2021 under the leadership of founding member, Trish Main. Today, VRPA has over 800 members and a multitude of programs for all abilities and disciplines including ladder play, king-of-the-court and social programming. Of the 828 VRPA members, 518 are women and 309 are men with an average age of 62. VRPA is host to two other tournaments during the year, the Victoria Classic in June and a Christmas tournament. For more information on VRPA visit their website.


Media Contact:
Trish Fougner, VRPA Board Member
250 472-6482