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Sports This Week: Pro pickleball series for Canada

In addition to showcasing elite-level competition, each event will also offer amateur competitions and a series of social events and clinics.
pickleball 4
The popularity of pickleball grows. (File Photo).

YORKTON - Pickleball may be the sport with the silliest of names, but it is also one that has garnered huge interest and massive growth.

In Canada that growth takes another huge step this summer with the debut of the Canadian Professional Pickleball Tour.

The inaugural PWR CPA Pro Pickleball Tour event takes places June 5-9 in
Ontario’s Durham region with future stops in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

This is the first professional pickleball tour in Canada, providing a high-level competition platform for the best players across the country.

Professionals competing will play for cash prizes and a coveted sponsorship spot for the 2025 season. Pros signed to make appearances this year include Ernesto Fajardo (5x Nationals Champion), Christina Chin (2x Nationals Champion) and Brad Chapman (5x Nationals Champion).

In addition to showcasing elite-level competition, each event will also offer amateur competitions and a series of social events and clinics. Players of all skill levels can participate and engage in the excitement of Canada’s fastest-growing sport.

"We are incredibly excited to launch the PWR CPA Pro Tour and bring professional pickleball to communities across Canada," said Jonathan Tin, Chief Operating Officer of the PWR CPA Pro Pickleball Tour in a recent release. "Pickleball continues to experience exponential growth, and the PWR CPA Pro Pickleball Tour represents a significant milestone in elevating the sport in Canada to new heights. We look forward to welcoming our professionals, amateurs, and pickleball fans to join us on this thrilling journey."

Yui See Lau - Co-Founder of the CPA Tour told Yorkton This Week the growth of the sport has been rather dramatic.

“I would say it’s a pleasant surprise on our end,” he said, adding of course numbers stateside are far larger than in Canada, but the sport has found popularity here too. “. . .We’re just happy to be part of the growth.”

So why has pickleball attracted so many?

“I think it’s how easy it is to get into,” said Lau.

The sport basics can be taught easily, and an hour after arriving at a court “you can be having a blast,” offered Lau.

It’s also a sport where “parents can play with their kids and the kids can play with their grandparents,” he added, suggesting “those are huge factors in the growth and explosion of the sport.”

With the broad appeal it was almost a natural progression that the most highly competitive players would evolve the sport to have a professional element.

“I think it’s a good time for the CPA Tour,” said Lau. “. . . We’re not obviously at the level of what the U.S, has done with the sport, but there’s no better time to start than now.”

Lau said the tour will provide Canada’s top players to get a high level of competition at home, which is big for the sport in the country and can also be a stepping stone for players before heading south to play.

Having cash prizes is a step too.

“Players are tired of playing for bragging rights,” said Lau.

In time Lau said he hopes the tour will become a showcase of Canada’s best pickleball players, adding part of that recognition will hopefully include TV exposure.

“Obviously down the road we’re hoping to be televised,” he said.

For more information about the PWR CPA Pro Pickleball Tour, including competition categories, tour dates and ticket details, please visit CPAProTour.ca