(L-r) Laura Finitzer and Sarah Brandt from Hamburg, Germany, are staying in the area right now as part of the Work-A-Way program. They recently had their first experince in playing the sport of Pickleball in Barriere. Judith Klontz photo:

Work-A-Way ladies learn Pickleball in Barriere

By Judith Klontz

Laura Finitzer and Sarah Brandt, both from Hamburg, Germany (and both aged 22 years) have been in Canada for only one month on a journey of a lifetime. They are enrolled in a program called Work-A-Way, where in exchange for room and board they help with various chores at their hosts home. Of course, it is expected that the host will also introduce them to various aspects of Canadian culture; so… as I am involved in Pickleball, I thought, “what a great opportunity to bridge the gap between cultures and age” and brought both girls to Friday’s Pickleball session.

Six other ladies were in attendance, and each took the time to personally welcome the young women to the area. A bit slow starting out, and initially using way too much force (previous tennis experience) both Laura and Sarah quickly figured out how to keep the ball within the court boundaries. From my court of play I could hear encouragement from the Barriere players as both girls confessed they had difficulty in learning how to keep score. Sarah is definitely keen to try Pickleball once again, but Laura says that she was too confused with the rules to really enjoy herself. Perhaps next Friday when they play, being a bit more familiar with the game will make the score keeping and rules a bit easier to understand (plus we will be watching a few Pickleball YouTube videos to prepare a bit more).

In addition to Pickleball, Laura and Sarah will be volunteering with the Lions Pancake Breakfast in Clearwater on Saturday, listening to Music in the Park in Barriere at Faeder Park (while using the exercise equipment), helping with a garlic harvest off the South Thompson River, swimming at Heffley Lake, walking the Flume Trail with the Barriere Outdoor Club, attending an 85th birthday at the Sun Peaks Alpine Blossom Festival, and boating down the North Thompson River from the Little Fort Ferry to Little Fort Farm. All among the many chores that seem to never end in everyday life on a farm.

Laura and Sarah will be in the Barriere/Little Fort area until July 23, after which they will travel to a farm in High Prairie, Alberta. They plan to stay a bit longer in Alberta as they would like to visit Waterton National Park. Heading East, a stay in Regina, Saskatchewan, is scheduled before heading further East until December. They will spend two months touring through the USA and then venture down under to Australia in March for nine months. Pickleball, being the fastest growing sport in North America could give them some connectivity in the various destinations they pass through.

If any Work-A-Way or WOOFER’s (or interested person) are in the area, they are most welcome to come to Pickleball and see what this sport is about. We meet at The Ridge gym in Barriere on Monday and Fridays from 1-3 p.m. and Tuesdays from 2-4 p.m

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