ARCHIPELAGO TWP. – Paddle ball courts are moving to township land.
Generations of Archipelago cottagers have used paddle ball courts on private land, but with them needing work and the Nares Inlet Property switching hands, new courts are being built on land leased for a small fee from the township on in Portage Bay.
Paddle ball was brought to Archipelago Township by American cottagers decades ago.
“It’s a game I guess started in New England when tennis enthusiasts wanted to play something like tennis in the winter,” said Reeve Peter Ketchum. “They created a court the snow would fall through and you could play it in the winter and they played it with sort of large ping-pong paddles and tennis balls.”
The owners of the property opened up the courts for area residents to use at their leisure.
“We’ve been doing it for 50 years,” said Ketchum. “It’s something young children can play at and also it can be quite exciting for older people as well. It’s a game that combines a little bit of squash to it as well as tennis.”
In 2011 the Nares Inlet Paddle Ball project was started with a goal of raising $50,000 for building new courts.
To date more than $30,000 has been collected.
New courts are being built, as opposed to fixing the existing ones as the land they sit on is being transferred to new owners.
“The people who had the court, they’re giving their property to the Georgian Bay Trust and the Georgian Bay Trust doesn’t want structures on property such as that – they want to bring it back to its natural state,” said Ketchum, who is part of the group.
The township waived the building fee for the court during its July 20 meeting.
Construction on the new court is slated to start this fall.