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

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Salmon Arm’s Halle Krawczyk gives a thumbs up following surgery on Jan. 22 in Pittsburgh, her second of three battling an extremely rare form of cancer that formed tumours on her two upper vertebrae and the clivus behind the nose. (Contributed)
‘Absolutely perfect:’ Salmon Arm girl’s surgeries for tumour exceed expectations

Halle Krawzcyk doing well, mom credits hundreds of people praying for making the difference

Salmon Arm RCMP search a property in the 700 block of Grandview Bench Road in March 2019, assisting Edmonton police with an investigation that led to the arrest of a Salmon Arm man man who was charged in relation to an Edmonton bank robbery and a related explosions. (File photo)
Salmon Arm man accused in Edmonton bank explosions in court for weapon offences

Local provincial court appearances for charges including possessing weapon for dangerous purpose

From left, city workers Hugh Bennett, Chris Carr and Teneal Crossman secure the fountain they’ve just removed from McGuire Lake back in October 2020 before the ice moved in. (File photo)
Salmon Arm, CUPE local reach five-year deal with city staff, RCMP clerks

Agreement includes two per cent wage hike for each of five years in agreement

RCMP cruiser
Residents help RCMP track fleeing driver in North Shuswap

Police stop vehicle with spike belt, Chase man arrested

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Heather Barker. (File)
Manslaughter charge laid in Vernon woman’s 2018 death

Shaun Ross Wiebe, 43, faces manslaughter and assault charges related to the death of Heather Barker

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News staff)
Downtown stairwell fire suspicious, Kelowna RCMP say

Crews were called to Gotham Nightclub for a report of a stairwell fire

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

An anonymous donor gave the Salmon Arm Museum this image in 1987. Is it the Sperry SRS 199 (Doodlebug)? Inquiring minds would like to know. Email archives@salmonarmmuseum.org. Image courtesy the Archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum.
Shuswap history in pictures: Doodlebug?

Image donated to museum in 1987

Most Read