To the Editor:
Recent letters to the Press included many inaccurate statements about the support provided to pickleball by Ridgefield Parks and Recreation.
Here are the facts.
The backboard motorization at Yanity Gym was funded by $1,902 from players, $1,250 from a non-player and $5,326 from Parks and Rec.
The window film and tape were funded by a 50/50 combination of donations and money from Parks and Rec.
Parks and Rec has always supplied nets, paddles and replacement parts. Since January 2018, they have supplied balls.
Players requested the practice ball machine. Parks and Rec. stores it and provides gym time for its use. Funding came from a tournament that was sponsored by the department, which waived the facility use fee.
Parks and Rec staff are needed to run the program. Staffing is required on Sunday evenings and as Yanity substitutes whenever the building supervisor is not there.
Pickleball times do displace other activities. Our evening times could easily be rented out. Afternoon times displace youth and teen basketball drop-in.
Ridgefield Parks and Recreation has supported pickleball with permanent courts lines at the Recreation Center, Yanity Gym and ERMS. They have scheduled 48 hours a week of playing time. They have provided the space for the Founders Hall Pickleball program. They have allowed us to set up free outdoor summer courts at both RHS and Yanity Gym.
Without the support of Parks and Recreation, there would be no pickleball at all. It is solely because they took a chance and offered an unknown sport eight years ago, that we have the program that exists now.
It is everyone’s right to question fee increases and the decision making that led to those increases. It is not right to use inaccurate information to attack the organization responsible for our very existence here in Ridgefield.