CLUB OF THE WEEK: Pickleball is ‘all the rage’

Surrey Pickleball Club was formed in August, has 160 members

The committee of the Surrey Pickelball Club

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our ‘Club of the Week’ feature appears every week in the Play section of the Now. Tell us about your sports club or association by sending an email to

SURREY —They call it Pickleball.

Not Gherkinpuck.


It’s not actually played with pickles, or glass jars. A derivative of badminton, tennis and ping-pong, this increasingly popular sport was invented in Washington State in 1965.

Some say it was named after the inventor’s dog, others say it’s named after pickle boats, the last to dock with their catch of herring.

Whatever the case, it’s catching on in a big way, especially among senior citizens, and its popularity led to the formation of our club of the week, the Surrey Pickelball Club.

Marilyn Cross, in charge of the club’s membership, says Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in North America.

“It’s become all the rage, this sport.”

The club was formed on Aug. 11 and currently has 160 members based out of South Surrey Recreation Centre, but they also play in Cloverdale, Guildford, and at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. Representatives of the Surrey Pickleball Club appeared before Surrey’s sports and tourism committee two weeks ago to ask for six pickleball courts to be built in the city, like they’ve done in Salmon Arm, Abbotsford, Kamloops, Kelowna, Trail, Sorrento and Penticton.

Cross, 54, says a “good portion” of players are seniors “but it’s taken off with young people as well.”

Her husband, retired Surrey firefighter Ron Cross, also plays, as does daughter Chelsea.

“She’s totally hooked.

“We’re representing all of Surrey,” Cross said of her club. “For now, it’s free.”

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