Dennis Hockley (top right) and Dave Drader (top left) won a gold medal in the 70+ mens doubles division at the Pickleball Canada National Championships earlier in August. Photo courtesy Tom Kennelly.

Cranbrook pickleballers capture national gold medals

The Cranbrook Pickleball Club now boasts some national champions.

Dennis Hockley won a gold medal in the 70+ mens doubles division with Dave Drader, a Calgary-based partner, and a silver in the 65+ singles division, while Canda Kennelly and Lisa Stechly took gold in the 17-49+ women’s doubles.

Cranbrook Pickleball Club president Tom Kennelly says 12 locals headed to Red Deer earlier in August to compete for the Pickleball Canada National Championships, lining up against 800 other competitors from across the country.

The results are reflective of the sport’s growth and dedicated members, according to Tom Kennelly, president of the Cranbrook Pickleball Club.

“It’s going very well, we’re quite satisfied,” Kennelly said. “We’re in a partnership with the city, with the courts and we have 106 members this year.”

In Cranbrook, and indeed across North America, pickleball has grown exponentially in popularity. The Kinsmen Park tennis courts were repurposed into pickleball courts three years ago, and more were built at the Gyro Park tennis courts.