One of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s most popular pickleball events is set for a return to South Surrey early next month.
The Surrey Pickleball Club is set to host the Grip ‘N’ Rip tournament from Sept. 3-5 at the newly updated and recently opened outdoor pickleball courts next to the South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre (14601 20 Ave.).
The tournament was first held in 2017 and drew a few hundred of the top pickleball players from across B.C. and the Pacific Northwest. This year, 226 competitors are signed up.
The event is also noteworthy in that when it debuted four years ago, it was the first Surrey Pickleball Club-hosted tournament to be officially sanctioned by both the Canadian Pickleball Association and the U.S. Association of Pickleball.
Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis.
The action will begin Friday morning, and organizers – who, like most pickleball enthusiasts, are always eager to point out that the sport isn’t just for seniors – were perhaps most excited about a pair of young Whistler athletes who will be making the trek to South Surrey to take part. The young pair – Alexander Emm, 12, and Parker Thomas, 9 – will be competing in both singles and doubles, taking on competitors who are three and four times their age, Surrey Pickleball Club’s Sheena Brewer told Peace Arch News via email.
The opening of the South Surrey courts – which are fully dedicated to pickleball – was officially celebrated Wednesday afternoon at a ribbon-cutting event featuring Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and members of city council.