Niklas Schmahl is a Work-A-Wayer from Harsefeld, Germany. He is currently staying in the Little Fort area of the North Thompson Valley and learning about everything from farming to playing Pickleball. (Judi Klonz photo)

Niklas Schmahl is a Work-A-Wayer from Harsefeld, Germany. He is currently staying in the Little Fort area of the North Thompson Valley and learning about everything from farming to playing Pickleball. (Judi Klonz photo)

Pickleball draws German visitor to North Thompson area

Niklas Schmahl is a Work-A-Wayer from Harsefeld (near Hamburg), Germany, and is currently in the North Thompson area for another 10 days.

Work-A-Way is an international program that allows travelers to connect with people and families in other countries while receiving room and board by helping their host with farm or other work needs, projects, or odd jobs. The program emphasizes cultural exchange between traveler and host.

Schmahl says the idea of learning to play Pickleball was instrumental as to why he chose to come to the Little Fort area to “experience some Canadian culture”.

An enthusiastic football (soccer) player, runner, and table tennis participant, Schmahl says that after googling the sport of Pickleball he wanted to try it out.

“Although I may not give Niklas the typical Canadian farm experience, he will not be bored during his time with me,” says Little Fort resident Judi Klontz, who is a Work-A-Way host and also an avid Pickleball player.

She says other activities planned for Schmahl to experience while in the North Thompson include, going to the gun range and shooting targets, learning how to run a chainsaw safely and helping with harvesting firewood, splitting firewood (using a log splitter), helping to prepare next years garlic bed, painting, making sourdough bread, learning to preserve fruit for the long cold Canadian winter and more.

“His list is endless,” said Klontz with a smile.

Klontz adds that pickleball is played in Barriere at the outdoor courts on Airfield Road every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. -12 p.m., and it will continue “for as long as the snow stays away”.

She also noted members of the Barriere Outdoor Club are arranging additional playing times to get as many games in as possible during this nice fall weather.

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District of BarriereNorth Thompson Valley