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Newsletter Sep 16 2021

2021-09-16 13:44 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

In this issue:

 What a Tournament!  Playing Indoors Safely
 Other Indoor Play News  Facility Advocate Opening
 Beginner Training  2022 Memberships
 Membership Renewals: Use Your Credit  Injured?

What a Tournament!

What records did we break at our September 11 FUN tournament?

  • Largest SAPC tournament ever, with 200 matches and 104 players.
  • Longest SAPC tournament ever (but we learned how to use Pickleball Brackets so we are primed for even bigger and better in future).
  • Record setting number of sponsors and prizes (thanks to the volunteers for their many contacts)
  • Every game refereed (thanks to all the referees from Parkland Pickleheads and to our own SAPC volunteer referees!)

Congrats to the medal winners (shown below) and all other participants.


See our club Facebook group for many pictures of members having fun! (We are also planning on putting some of these onto our website soon – stay tuned for that.)

THANKS to the organizers, sponsors, many other volunteers, and particularly to Ken Dentzien, Tournament Director and James Porter, his right hand on the computer.  Other volunteers, a list of sponsors, and other tournament highlights are identified in this tournament report. Hope we didn’t miss anyone!

Playing Indoors Safely

Thank you for all the thoughtful, informed and respectful input members have provided to our board on this topic. Your input matters.

Much of this input was along the lines that our government has now taken.  In case you didn’t hear our Premier and Health Minister speak on cbc.ca at 6 pm September 15, we have summarized the comments below, in so far as indoor pickleball play is concerned.  This information is also available at a government webpage cited below.

Covid hospitalizations and ICU cases have again reached record highs in Alberta. To increase our safety, to control spread, and to further incent immunizations, the Government of Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency and has again brought in temporary measures, some of which basically translate into a vaccine passport system. The bottom line, for pickleball and all other indoor adult sports, is that we are either shutdown completely or we adopt a Restrictions Exemption Program, which is a fancy name for a vaccine passport system. 

So, in order to try to offer any indoor play at all, SAPC has no choice but to adopt a Restrictions Exemption Program. Consequently, at a board meeting the evening of Sep 15, your board passed this resolution: “SAPC hereby adopts the Restrictions Exemption Program for indoor club play, in compliance and in accordance with Government of Alberta requirements streamed online at cbc.ca and as announced and posted at https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx on Sept 15.  This means that any member coming out to play indoors will bring proof of double vaccination or recent negative covid test and will show this proof whenever asked.

Now indoor play could start in early October. You have a couple of weeks to gather some form of vaccination evidence for BOTH vaccinations. For the time being, the government and SAPC will accept any of the following:

  • vaccination forms provided by the pharmacy or health centre where your vaccinations were done,
  • printout or screen shot of an immunization report from your online MyHealth account,
  • immunization card (soon printable or downloadable) from your MyHealth account,
  • documentation of a medical exemption, or
  • proof of a privately-paid negative PCR or rapid test within 72 hours of playing (tests from AHS or Alberta Precision Laboratories not allowed).

Please pack this evidence with your mask and bring it to every indoor play session you attend.

Note that this vaccine passport rule also applies to beginner’s lessons and any other indoor sessions.

Other Indoor Play News

Are the above measures enough to actually get us some indoor play venues?  Well stay tuned. Nothing is assured until it actually happens.

Just prior to the Premier’s announcement, we had made venue arrangements with one church, the Sturgeon Heights school, and several other city schools. We are now in the process of assuring these venues that we are adopting a Restrictions Exemption Program, and hope that is sufficient to avoid a complete shutdown to adult sports by these venues. Basically, our venues must also adopt a Restrictions Exemption program for their gymnasiums or they must shut down indoor adult sports play.

We will pass on more news on this in the next two weeks.  If and when indoor play is confirmed, it will also be posted on our indoor play calendars. Always check the calendars for times and details before heading out to play.

Assuming some indoor play proceeds, here’s some additional news related to that play.

For reserved indoor play, you can make reservations starting on Friday, for all sessions from Monday to Sunday of the following week. The exact time of reservation opening will vary slightly. Here’s why:

  • We were going to have these sessions open automatically (and very consistently) at 12:00:01 am (real early) Saturday morning, but some asked that have the reservations open up while most people are awake.

  • So we are going with manual openings. This is more work each week for Carol, our registered play coordinator (and her backups), but we will give it a try.  Doing it manually means that the registration opening time could vary somewhat each week, as it takes time to manually open each of our dozens of events, and sometimes we actually put something else in our life ahead of pickleball (though this is rare, of course!)  Anyway, the target time is to have all reserved play events open by 4:30 pm on Friday, but some weeks it could be a couple minutes after that for a few events, and other weeks it could even be a couple of hours before that!
  • In summary, reservations open by approximately 4:30 pm on Friday, for all sessions from Monday to Sunday of the following week (and if we have any complaints about this we can quickly convert back to automated openings at midnight.)

No spectators at any indoor event – only participants.

Please, please also read the Guide to Indoor Play – Fall 2021 article on our home page.  This article supersedes the news in our Sept 4 newsletter. This home page article will also be continually updated as our reserved play protocol and Covid safety rules change.

Facility Advocate Opening

Using a 5 to 10-year perspective, your Facilities Task Force has identified and will soon recommend (to the board and membership) certain priorities for additional pickleball facilities in St. Albert. We are also nearing the stage when we need to plan how to advocate for these additional facilities, building on our great relationship with the City of St. Albert.

  • Do you have an interest in planning for more facilities with the City?
  • Can you spot opportunities to further develop our connections to the City or to raise pickleball awareness in St. Albert?
  • Would you like to be involved in meetings with the City?
  • Do you know some city officials or council members?
  • Do you have experience in making presentations or in having meaningful discussions with decision-makers?
We’re not looking for someone with ALL these interests. We know a job like this takes a team of individuals, each having something to contribute. If you are interested in joining our task force or if  you’d like to share some advocacy advice with us, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca.

Beginner Training

This training is again underway – thanks to Nicole and her cadre of volunteer trainers.  If you know someone outside our club who may be interested in taking a free beginner lesson, refer them to our Beginner’s Lesson webpage.

Note that anyone attending an indoor beginner's lesson must also adhere to the indoor play provisions described in the newsletter articles above  and any provisions posted to the home page of our website.

2022 Memberships

Starting Oct 1, you can renew your membership for 2022. Non-members can also purchase new memberships on that date that are effective from the date of purchase to Dec 31 2022.

Didn’t we just buy memberships in March or April for 2021? Yes, but recall that was for a short membership year that expires December 31, 2021. Why? Well to comply with the standardized pickleball membership year now in effect for all clubs affiliated with Pickleball Canada.

The SAPC membership fee for 2022 has just been set. It is $40.  The additional proceeds will be used to start building a capital reserve toward future pickleball facilities in St. Albert. This was an action endorsed by our board and members in 2021, but we delayed the fee increase due to the short membership year and Covid play restrictions.

Please also recall that you must join or renew with Pickleball Canada and Pickleball Alberta separately, before joining or renewing with SAPC.  They have a combined charge of $15 for 2022. Further details are here.

Membership Renewals: USE YOUR CREDIT

Do you have a credit with SAPC?  If so, PLEASE use up your credit when you renew your membership!  Only YOU can do that for yourself, and you can save on the membership fee by doing so.  How do you use your credit? It’s a bit tricky.  See the instructions on this page. If you need help, ask Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca before you hit that payment button.

How do you know if you have a credit? It will show up in the Balance in the top right corner of your profile on the SAPC website.

Injured?

If you are injured even slightly during organized play, please report it to the captain so a medical incident report can be completed.  This helps us keep play sessions as safe as possible and it helps us support you should you need to make a claim to use the sport injury insurance you have through your Pickleball Canada membership. It also helps us keep in touch with you regarding your injury – because we care!

Until next time, keep your paddle up!


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