In the TRU Gymnasium Saturday morning the memory of Ian Pinchbeck was kept alive with the first annual Ian Pinchbeck Memorial Pickleball Tournament.
A longtime member of Williams Lake, in his later life Ian was an avid member of the Williams Lake Pickleball Club and enjoyed playing the sport with family and friends. When Ian passed away suddenly from a heart attack in late 2019, the WLPC chose to honour his memory by hosting an indoor tournament in his name.
All told, 36 members of the WLPC took to the court to play in a round-robin style tournament split up into three 12 person divisions including novice, intermediate and advanced. With family members and the public cheering them on, lively games ensued almost nonstop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WLPC executive Bill Fawcett, who has been playing pickleball for about three years now said he enjoys the social nature of the sport and the exercise it provides. The Ian Pinchbeck Memorial Pickleball Tournament is the group’s first annual tournament, Fawcett said, and to honour him many of his family members were in attendance to either play the game or cheer on the players.
“We always have fun either laughing at ourselves or laughing at our opponents so it’s a great social sport and a little bit of exercise involved as well,” Fawcett said.
Those playing pickleball tend to be more on the mature side but the tournament attracted a wide range of players, the youngest of whom was 42 and the oldest of whom was 82. It also helped Ian Pinchbeck’s family, led by his wife Rose, who were in attendance.
“It’s just a huge loss to everybody and something a lot of us are still getting over,” Fawcett said, remarking this event is part of that process.
Rose herself, meanwhile, was in agreement and said the whole family really appreciates the fact the WLPC named this tournament after him. Ian loved pickleball, Rose said, and would be really honoured if this event increases community awareness and interest in the sport.