Manitoulin has become a veritable hotbed of Pickleball. Period! For the uninitiated, Pickleball is touted, for years, to be the fastest growing sport in Canada has a strong and devoted following here on the Island. A fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It is easy to play, low impact and appeals to a wide range of people, from kids to senior citizens. Most people who have played racquet sports learn Pickleball easily!
The following members of the Manitoulin Pickle Group, Pierrette Hebner, Garry Wolfe, Bud Hebner and George Ballantyne, recently competed in the Canadian National Pickleball Championships held in Kingston. This year there were more the 950 registered participants of all ages and skill level from all over Canada.
“The level of competition was high and our contingent did their best to make our Club proud,” they told this columnist.
Of special note, “Bud” Hebner brought home a Bronze medal. In addition, he and his wife Pierrette spent many hours officiating games. They are both recognized as Level 2 Referees in Ontario and makeup a small group of elite level Officials. Well done, guys!
Caught being active!
I have mentioned these athletes in the past as staunch advocates of fitness. Heather Theijsmeijer just keeps on going. She has participated in a consecutive-day running challenge for so long that I have lost track of how many she has completed. I just recently noticed that she has now put herself into her “summer running challenge.” Fellow educator and consecutive-day runner, Yana Bauer, is now up to 643 days of completing a run without a break, despite a nagging knee injury after surgery! So impressive guys, keep going!
Current to Killarney, again!
Further to last week’s mention of the canoe-outrigger-kayak race from Little Current to Killarney, here are few more details. The fastest time to complete the 34-ish (depending on your navigation skills!) was the tandem outrigger team dubbed Paddle Life. The pair featured athletic “beasts” Abbie Robertson and Peter Buday who completed the distance in time for brunch, clocking in well before noon!
Incidentally, Peter comes from a family of super successful paddlers. His father, Tamas, won Olympic bronze at the Montreal games in 1976 and his brothers, Attila and Tamas Jr., competed for Canada in three Olympics. Peter made the Junior National Team in 1996 and is a multiple National Champion in Sprint Kayaking.
Slightly behind the pair and more of a lunch-time scheduling was the third place Voyageur team called the Gust Busters who helped me paddle into Killarney for the first time. It was an amazing experience and all of the following power also needs to be acknowledged: Melissa Brandon, Tanya McCulloch, Al Haner, Mathieu Page, Danae Page, Melissa McCulloch, Beth Armstrong, Mariah Meawasige, Hayden Joy, Sarah Lachance and Aya Dufour.
More paddlers to come!
A good sport is good for sports.