By Judith Klonz
I am sure that many know Linda as she is a long-time resident of Barriere (40 plus years). Completing her high schooling in Williams Lake, and Nurses training at Cariboo College (Thompson Rivers University) in Kamloops, she worked many years as a Registered Nurse here in Barriere at the Medical Center.
However, since retirement Linda has found something else to help fill her day and started coming to play Pickleball in January of 2019. After playing a few sessions she was hooked, and was one of the first to go out and buy her own paddle. A beautiful Selkirk with various shades of purples.
As our only left-handed player, one must be constantly thinking when having Linda as a partner since court positioning is important to cover potential open spots. In order to cover these spots, I was amazed to see she is switching her paddle from left-hand to right-hand to cover those shots heading outside her reach. This is one of the many skills that she has developed over the past six months and has had plenty of time to do so as she attends all available sessions (six to eight hours per week). In addition, she has occasionally traveled to Kamloops to play at their outdoor courts at Riverside park.
Pickleball players are ranked as 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0. Linda self ranks herself as a 3.5 player. She has progressed from a tennis type player who loves to hit long shots, to more a of ‘Dinker’ style player hitting the soft shots close to the net.
Linda is currently signed up to play doubles for three tournaments this summer: The Kamloops Ladies FUN tournament at Riverside Park on June 15, Vernon’s – Banister Honda – Paddle to the Metal, August 23-25, and the British Columbia 55 + Seniors Games this September 10-14 in Kelowna.
I am sure if outdoor courts were available in Barriere, Linda would be out there at dawn or dusk playing with those that still day shift. With two grown children and six grandchildren I am sure the love of this sport is well known within her family. If you see Linda walking either to or from The Ridge with a smile on her face, you can be sure she has Pickleball on her mind.