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’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Oliver Town Hall (Town of Oliver Facebook).
Call for local artists to design centennial logo for Oliver

The Town of Oliver will be celebrating 100 years in 2021

Vaseux Lake in winter. (Facebook)
Dogs rescued after falling through ice on Vaseux Lake

Good Samaritans saved the trapped dogs

“My grandma always just said…making people smile is the most important thing,” says Nicholas Kruger. (Chehala Leonard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Entrepreneur Nicholas Kruger nominated as Okanagan community changemaker

With humour and knowledge, Nicholas Kruger says it’s important to give back

Geoff Orr began building his dream home in the hills above Penticton over 14 years ago. The architect used recycled lumber from the old Super-Vale grocery store. (Floating Orb Productions / YouTube)
WATCH: Penticton man shows off dream home made from recycled lumber

A lot of the lumber used was taken from the demolished Super-Valu grocery store

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Most Read