Pickleball has taken to the ice in Vernon, as demonstrated in a video shared by Michael J. Botterill Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. (Michael J. Botterill/Facebook)

Pickleball has taken to the ice in Vernon, as demonstrated in a video shared by Michael J. Botterill Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. (Michael J. Botterill/Facebook)

VIDEO: Pickleball hits the ice in the Okanagan

Could this be the next big winter sport?

It just might be the next big winter sport, and it appears to have been played in Vernon for the first time on Christmas Day 2020.

Michael J. Botterill and Beck Hackman, founders of Vernon-based BottMan Pickleball, have been helping to grow the popular paddle sport for years in the local area.

After being challenged by a hockey player to see how well his pickleball skills hold up while on skates, Botterill agreed to a game of pickleball on the frozen surface of Mud Lake, in the Middleton Mountain area.

The results were so much fun, the two plan to hold another game at Vernon’s Okanagan Training Rink while collecting donations for the local Salvation Army Food Bank.

“It was just so much fun,” Botterill said of the game he played against some locals who happened to be out for a skate on Christmas Day at the remote lake.

Botterill only has one game under his belt, but it was enough to tell him what sorts of skills are most helpful when playing pickleball on ice – skating tops the list.

Botterill and Hackman are certified as pickleball instructors throughout the Okanagan Valley. About three years ago they started working on their company, BottMan Pickleball, and have already designed their third junior paddle. Lightweight with a smaller grip, Hackman says it’s perfect for players aged six through 16 — and it’s also manufactured locally in Kamloops.

The two also developed a junior training program through the Vernon Pickleball Association (VPA) and have been running camps at the Predator Ridge facility while the VPA facility is under construction.

So far they’ve introduced 150 beginners to the sport, and growing the sport locally is an exciting prospect for them considering Vernon’s sparkling new pickleball facility, which just had a new roof installed in November.

“Okanagan Wealth Advisors Pickleball Complex … is a stadium that will honestly be one of the best facilities in North America …” Botterill said.

READ MORE: Raising the roof over Vernon Pickleball courts

Botterill hopes to get younger hockey players looking at pickleball a little differently. It could also present an option to keep practising while group sports are curtailed by restrictions related to the pandemic.

Though he’s an experienced pickleball player, Botterill said combining the sport with a slippery playing surface is another level of workout.

The two will host another session of singles play on skates at the Okanagan Training Rink Thursday, Jan. 7, from 12 to 2 p.m. The session will involve five players who will need to sign a waiver and wear a mask while playing, and the event will be streamed live on Michael Botterill’s Facebook page.

Online donations will be made possible through Facebook and BottMan Pickleball, with proceeds going towards the Vernon Salvation Army Food Bank.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria’s 55+ BC Games committee planning for safe 2021 competition


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Figure Skating

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok. Bulletin file
Kimberley, Golden unlikely to get mass vaccination clinics: MLA Clovechok

Kimberley has 17 active cases as of Tuesday, April 20; Golden 7

Reports of a vehicle incident along Highway 95 between Golden and Radium. (Drive BC photo)
UPDATED: Vehicle incident closes Highway 95

More details to come as DriveBC updates the situation

The Golden and District Community Foundation has announced a $5,000 crisis grant to the Golden Food Bank during COVID-19
The Golden and District Community Foundation has announced the first of their small grants for the year. File photo.
First 2021 Neighbourhood Small Grants handed out

Applications are still open for small grants

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Reilly Jorgensen watches his grandmother’s dogs after she fractured her ankle while walking the pups at Enterprise Park on Wednesday, April 21. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna senior rescued after fracturing ankle while walking her 5 dogs

The woman called her grandson to come watch the dogs while she recieved medical assistance

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

(Pixabay)
Kelowna man facing charges for bike theft

The Kelowna man allegedly stole an e-bike from the 2200-block of Harvey Avenue

Jessica Lynn Pihl
Woman believed to be in North Okanagan wanted by police

RCMP seek public’s help locating 37-year-old

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

A vineyard wind machine caught fire in the early morning hours in Osoyoos Wednesday. (Osoyoos Fire Department Ryan McCaskill photo)
Flames from machine fire cast glow across Osoyoos Lake

A vineyard wind machine was engulfed in flames in the early morning hours Wednesday

Most Read