Steve Deakin, right, and his partner Ernesto Fajardo won the gold medal in the Mens Doubles Skill Open competition during the Pickleball Canada National Championships in Red Deer Sunday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Steve Deakin, right, and his partner Ernesto Fajardo won the gold medal in the Mens Doubles Skill Open competition during the Pickleball Canada National Championships in Red Deer Sunday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Pickleball National Championships in Red Deer a hit

The Pickleball Canada National Championships in Red Deer was a big success, says a member of the local organizing committee.

“The tournament’s been fantastic,” Patrick Galesloot said during the final day of event, which was hosted at Motorworks Field in the north end of the city.

“We’ve received positive feedback from people all across Canada here. We have roughly 800 registered players from across Canada. Roughly 400 are from Alberta with the remaining 400 from outside (of the province). We had people come from as far away as Fredericton, N.B.”

A lot of work was put in to make this event happen, said Galesloot.

“We started planning well over a year and a half ago when we made the bid and got awarded to host the event,” he said.

“Throughout the year, we had several meetings via Zoom. We kept planning, anticipating we were going to get the green light. There was a high level of stress in May when the COVID numbers continued to go up.

“We were extremely excited when we moved to Stage 3 (in the province’s relaunch plan) and the vaccine rollout was making things positive all across Canada so we could have everybody come and have some fun.”

READ MORE: Pickleball Nationals underway in Red Deer

Galesloot said the skill level and speed of the players “demonstrates that pickleball is more than just a seniors sport.”

“A lot of these players come from a tennis or squash background before they get into pickleball,” he said.

“They really bring the hand-eye coordination and racket skills to the court with them, and it really shows.”

Steve Deakin, a top ten pickleball player in North America, and his partner Ernesto Fajardo won the gold medal in the Men’s Doubles Skill Open competition.

“We’ve played together a bit on tour. When we found out this was an all-Canadian nationals, we thought it would be appropriate to play together here. It was good fun for us today,” Deakin said.

“I’m missing a couple of tour stops right now in the U.S. I haven’t competed in Canada in a long time. It was an honour to play in Canada with all the Canadians to help grow the sport. It was exceptional to play with Ernesto.”

“I was super lucky to be able to play with Steve. I’m so happy,” Fajardo added.

Galesloot said Deakin was a “premier attraction” at the event.

“When we call his name to the courts, the crowd comes to watch him,” said Galesloot.

Winners from Saturday and Sunday

Men’s Doubles 3.0 60-69

Gold: Fu Cheong Wong & Gerald Chan

Silver: Edward Desnoyers & Jamie Fry

Bronze: Delwyn Dalton & Tony Lam

Men’s Doubles 3.0 70+

Gold: Dennis Hockley & Dave Drader

Silver: Roy Fairweather & Yvon Lemieux

Bronze: Barry Ripper & Tim Schoepp

Men’s Doubles 4.0 35-49

Gold: Keith Bially & Damien Rondeau

Silver: Chris Friesen & Cory Streifel

Bronze: Nicholas Rush & Thomas Bauer

Men’s Doubles 4.0 70+

Gold: Leo Charney & Rod Ball

Silver: Greg Dobbie & Marek Foff

Bronze: Blair Henderson & John Diehl

Men’s Doubles 4.5 50-59

Gold: Sylvain Barabe & Patrick Huletsky

Silver: Brent Jahansson & Karl Stelting

Bronze: Brad Harris & Corey Osborne

Men’s Doubles 4.5 60+

Gold: Jeff Whipple & Grant Boulay

Silver: David Hesje & Darren Duncan

Bronze: Neil Maser Norman Kowalchuk

Men’s Doubles Open 50+

Gold: Barry Mah & Peter Brix

Silver: Martin Cote & Alain Lemay

Bronze: Horatio Pintea & Paul Morrison

Men’s Doubles Open 17-49

Gold: Steve Deakin & Ernesto Fajardo

Silver: Brad Chapman & Jorge Quitero

Bronze: Michael Botts Botterill & Jordan Renwick

Women’s Singles 3.0 10-49

Gold: Aireen Gorman

Silver: Jirawan Makila

Bronze: Maelyn Greenwood

Women’s Singles 3.0 50-64

Gold: Tera Jensen

Silver: Michelle Selk

Bronze: Jeanette Clark

Women’s Singles 3.0 65+

Gold: Elaine Larson

Silver: Noreen Hetherington

Bronze: Deborah Sutherland

Women’s Singles 4.5 10-49

Gold: Angie Walker

Silver: Anna Dyachenko

Bronze: Rebecca Hackman

Women’s Singles 4.5 50+

Gold: Pat Ellis

Silver: Irina Chulkova

Bronze: Kristina Lidster

Women’s Singles open 10-49

Gold: Leigh Bradwell

Silver: Grace Thomas

Bronze: Susan Pound

Women’s Singles Open 50+

Gold: Sara McNeil

Silver: Barbara Kerr

Bronze: Damaris Brix

Mixed Doubles Open 17-49

Gold: Kim Brent & Steve Deakin

Silver: Frederique Lambert & Ernesto Fajardo

Bronze: Leigh Bradwell & Cameron Rich

Mixed Doubles Open 50+

Gold: Damaris Brix & Peter Brix

Silver: Cookie Drake & Barry Mah

Bronze: Barbara Kerr & Samir Bhatnagar



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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Steve Deakin, right, and his partner Ernesto Fajardo celebrate after winning the gold medal in the Mens Doubles Skill Open competition during the Pickleball Canada National Championships in Red Deer Sunday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Steve Deakin, right, and his partner Ernesto Fajardo celebrate after winning the gold medal in the Mens Doubles Skill Open competition during the Pickleball Canada National Championships in Red Deer Sunday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Botts Botteril, left, and Jordan Renwick, of Okanagan, B.C., compete during the Pickleball Canada National Championships in Red Deer Sunday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Botts Botteril, left, and Jordan Renwick, of Okanagan, B.C., compete during the Pickleball Canada National Championships in Red Deer Sunday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)