The sport of pickleball has been gaining in popularity in Meaford thanks in large part to Brian Bell, founder and president of Meaford’s Pickleball Club. The Meaford club has grown to more than 100 members, with more joining regularly.
Last week, Bell was recognized with the Merrie Lee Ambassador Award from Pickleball Ontario.
Below is the nomination letter submitted to Pickleball Ontario for consideration for the award:
Brian moved to Meaford in 2017 and realized there was no Pickleball activity in Meaford!
He wasted no time in speaking to the Town Council about the sport and how it would benefit not only the local citizens but also the town as a whole.
Brian applied for grants (government, town and ParticipACTION) and with these awarded grants he purchased nets, paddles and balls. He was able to secure games in the Community Center and at the local Military Base (before COVID)
Brian put together an enthusiastic executive team and as a group they have been working full steam ahead getting the word out that we are ready to play. Brian worked with the town and we now have three courts at our harbour to play outside.
He recruited more volunteers to build a Facebook group and it has been growing with enthusiastic players and curious new comers to the sport, we are 100 members so far!
Brian has (before COVID and now getting back into it) been a welcoming advocate and a supportive teacher for all players new and seasoned. Several times a week he enthusiastically leads the club.
He has had logo bags made and are given out free when you sign up as a member and hats are now part of the swag!
A Youth Pickleball Club was run this summer as Brian wants all ages to participate in this fun, active and social sport by giving free lessons to anyone interested.
Pickleball paddles and balls were donated to the library for residents to take out and play at the local tennis courts.
Brian has volunteered so much of his time and energy to have our community enjoy and grow with Pickleball.
His love for the sport is infectious and his calm demeanour and humour makes everyone relax and just have fun playing a sport they now love.
He organizes tournaments with fun prizes and has made this not only an enjoyable physical activity but a wonderful social club too!
For more information please check out their Facebook page or email us at www.meafordpb.ca