By Judith Klontz
A relatively newcomer to the Lower North Thompson, Catherine McNeil relocated to the Barriere area two years ago after spending 40 years in Maple Ridge. A repeat visitor to the area, after many family visits, it was decided that they liked what they saw and instead of just vacationing, they would make a lifestyle change. One would think that it takes time to adjust to a new community, but Catherine has jumped in with both feet.
After interviewing her, I wondered where she found the hours in the week to come to Pickleball, but willing to try something new Catherine says “I was hooked after the first time – I really enjoy the fact that I can play a sport at my own level and everyone is so friendly – we love to laugh at ourselves when we try something new and flub it – everyone does it”.
As a Director with the Barriere Curling Club, Catherine splits her time between Pickleball and Curling in the winter. In addition, she loves her music and goes into Kamloops two times a week to play the french horn and trumpet with not one but two separate groups; Thompson Valley Orchestra and Kamloops Community Band.
Her main focus in the summer is hiking with the Barriere Outdoor Club and Pickleball at The Ridge, although she does like to spend a bit of time tinkering in her garden. With a husband and two grown children at home (cooking, cleaning, groceries and laundry) ( four grandchildren have been known to pop in to visit), two active dogs (walks and talks) and a Parottlet, Catherine is indeed a very busy woman! Yet, she continues to find time to play Pickleball at The Ridge here in Barriere, to to three times per week.
Recently Catherine has enjoyed some quality mother-daughter time as she has been bringing her 26-year-old daughter along to play Pickleball. It is great to see younger people playing Pickleball, they pick up the sport so quickly and can really challenge us older players.
If this wasn’t enough to keep the her busy, Catherine has recently joined Emergency Social Services to further give back to the community
In August this year, Catherine has ‘signed up’ to help support National Pickleball Day (further details to follow) on Saturday, Aug. 10, as well as to partner with me in Women’s Double 3.0 at the’ Paddle to the Metal’ sanctioned Pickleball tournament in Vernon on Aug. 23.