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Pickleball takes centre court as the RA Centre marks the Grand Opening of their new dedicated indoor Pickleball Centre

Ottawa, ON - November 26, 2021 – The RA Centre marked the Grand Opening of the new Pickleball Centre with a recognition event today. The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, John Fraser, MPP Ottawa South, Darrell Bartraw, Ontario Trillium Foundation, OTF’s Grant Review Team Chair, and the RA Board of Directors, staff and members celebrated this welcome addition to this vibrant community and tried their hand at this fun, lifelong sport for all.

The RA developed this exciting new pickleball centre, Ottawa’s only purpose-built indoor pickleball facility, at the main campus on Riverside Drive by refurbishing 13,500 square feet into a seven-court centre. This innovative project supported by a $150,000 OTF’s Resilient Communities Fund Grant, will assist in the RA’s long-term recovery by helping to build capacity and resiliency in the aftermath of COVID-19. The creation of the Pickleball Centre reflects a contribution towards the RA’s strategic vision and the development of the Canadian Sport for Life and Rehabilitation Centre in the coming years. This 200,000 square foot facility will target sports and activities that have facility deficits in the city and encourage the growth of sport tourism with Ottawa Tourism, an RA partner.
 
“As Ontario recovers from the triple threat of COVID-19 – the healthcare, economic and social crises – investments into sport and recreation by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries are critical to support our communities.” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.
 
“The highly anticipated opening of the new pickleball facility at the RA Centre is welcome news for residents in my riding and across the city of Ottawa. The state-of-the-art facility will serve the community now and into the future as interest in the pickleball continues to grow rapidly. The seven-court centre will mean that people of all ages can easily participate in this fun and dynamic sport.”  said John Fraser, MPP, Ottawa South.
 
Opened on November 2, 2021, the RA Pickleball Centre, is the first-ever pickleball centre to adopt a sport for life philosophy and to offer opportunities for all ages and all abilities. “Our new Pickleball Centre taps into the growing excitement and demand for the sport in Ottawa and around the country,” shares Tosha Rhodenizer, RA Chief Executive Officer. “In fact, our community’s interest in Pickleball was unprecedented with pickleball club memberships selling out in a matter of weeks.”
 
Further, this unique venue is capable of hosting a variety of local, provincial, national, and international events and offers a “centre court” experience for the culmination of any tournament. In fact, the RA will welcome the Canadian Pickleball Series December 9 to 12, 2021 hosting close to 300 Pickleball players from across Canada.  
 
Strengthening the RA’s growth in pickleball, was the addition of Pickleball Canada, this past Spring, to the vibrant Canadian House of Sport community located at the RA Centre in Ottawa, a partnership that will not only help grow the sport at both grassroot and national levels but will enhance the development of this new and unique facility. 
Carla Anderson, Executive Director of Pickleball Canada shares, “Being part of a diverse, dynamic and collaborative environment is valuable and provides significant benefits for the national pickleball community.  These are exciting times!"