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Canada's number one ranked pickleball player pays a visit to Calgary

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Like many top pickleball players, Steve Deakin started out in tennis.  He was a competitive player but was forced to put down his racquet when he suffered a serious shoulder injury.

In 2017, Deakin's dad suggested pickleball as an alternative to his tennis dreams.  Deakin picked up the paddle and has never looked back.

“I live in this town just outside of Vancouver called Pit Meadows and it has an amazing pickleball community,” the 49-year-old said.

“I went down to the local recreation centre and played some pickleball.  I was hooked instantly and I never ended up going back to tennis and I carved out a beautiful career from pickleball."

IN CALGARY TO GIVE LESSONS

Deakin is the number one ranked player in Canada.  He’s an eight-time Canadian National pickleball champ and  a multiple major medallist on the Pro Pickleball Association Tour.

This week Deakin is in Calgary to play a little and give lessons to members of the Calgary Pickleball Club.

He says there’s one group he really looks forward to teaching.

“I find a lot of youthful membership who are extremely eager to learn,” he said.

“I hope with my vast experience playing on the pro tour that I’m able to share some of my insights I’ve learned on the tour with the students here in Calgary.”

BIG FOR THE CLUB

Sherry Richardson is the past president of the Calgary Pickleball Club.  She says it’s a big thing to have Deakin here.

“Access to someone with his level - it’s unprecedented in other sports," she said. "We want to grab him while we can you know before he’s too famous and he won’t come here anymore!"

A SPORT FOR EVERYONE

Deakin says the biggest change he’s seen in the sport is who’s playing.  Pickleball isn’t just for older people anymore, it’s become a sport for everyone.

“I feel pickleball is a sport that you can be a little bit in those golden years and still have a great time, but it’s still a dynamic sport that a lot of youth are kind of following up on now.”

There’s some good news for pickleball players in Calgary.  The Calgary Pickleball Centre will open its doors in a couple of weeks in the northeast.  It’s the first fully dedicated pickleball facility of its kind in Calgary. It's at 1145 65 Avenue N.E.

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