Additional courts at Diamond Valley Lake Community Park reflect growing popularity of the sport

Tom Jones/The Valley Chronicle
Snowbirds from Canada and Oregon enjoy a fast-paced game of pickleball at Diamond Valley Lake Park. Canadians Scott Martin and Marcia Marzovilla (foreground) challenge Roger Damico and Greg Crowl from Oregon.

■ By Tom Jones / Contributed

The community park at Diamond Valley Lake recently gained two new pickleball courts to better accommodate the growing popularity of the hybrid sport.
The Hemet City Council has approved a reimbursement request in the amount of $59,961 to the Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District for the construction of two additional pickleball courts at the Diamond Valley Lake Community Park. Already completed, the new courts are adjacent to the existing courts and, like other improvements to the 85-acre park, are funded by Park Development Impact Fees.The park is developed and operated by Valley-Wide.
Development Impact Fees are a per unit fee charged a new development at the time a building permit or certificate of occupancy is issued in order to fund new capital facilities needed as a result of new development. As with other development fees, Park DIF can only be used for capital improvements. In 2006, the City of Hemet created a separate Valley-Wide Diamond Valley Lake Park Fund to better provide and track the funding to this particular park.
For the uninitiated, pickleball is an increasingly popular form of recreation that combines the elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton. It is played with wood or composition paddles using a wiffle ball and a net similar to a tennis court net. First developed in 1965 by a group of neighbors on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington, the sport has grown to be enjoyed by almost three million followers. According to the most popular pickleball legend, the name is derived from the name of the founder’s dog Pickles.

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