It’s certainly time for a real pickleball club to be formed in Cambridge, Ontario, and after months of first understanding the problem, then having a vision, and gradually working my way through about 100 different tasks, I can now say, “A Pickleball Club in Cambridge, Ontario is real!
Pickleball Club in Cambridge.. the beginning
I won’t go through all the tasks but I will summarized them this way:
- After playing pickleball in Cambridge for only a few months, I discovered what I thought was a need for a pickleball club in Cambridge and wondered why one hadn’t been formed already.
- After all, the game has been around since 1965, and it appears to have been played in Cambridge for more than 10 years. So why was there no pickleball club in Cambridge?
- After looking around, talking to people at various pickleball drop-ins in Cambridge, Kitchener and Guelph, and researching how pickleball clubs typically operate, the only reason I could see that a specific club dedicated to people in and around Cambridge hadn’t been formed was: the lack of places to play, a bit of an indifference by the city to assist a club, and finally someone willing to put in the time and (hopefully temporary) financial risk to get one started.
- As an action oriented business executive, with a lot of experience in building and growing businesses, achieving business objectives, and new found time to work towards this goal, I decided to take on the pickleball club in Cambridge challenge myself.,
I decided Cambridge really needed something like Cambridge Pickleball Club, but before I would actually do it, I had many other things to explore and pursue.
I had to research pickleball clubs in Canada. In doing that I discovered as of 2023 the vast majority of pickleball clubs in Canada, and most of the largest are non-profit clubs run by members.
These clubs go from coast to coast in Canada, with many clubs having anywhere from 500 – 1500 members. Some of these large clubs are in communities much smaller than the 140k or so, population of the City of Cambridge, Ontario.
There are also many For Profit clubs in Canada as well, and the ones I know about are pretty darned cool as well. So far the very best club I’d been to has been a private for profit club. But the price for membership both initial and ongoing, reflects it as well.
I had to do a little soul searching. Was my goal to help my community freely, or to offer a service to my community while making a profit.
Non Profit or For Profit Pickleball Club – What to Do?
This took a lot of thought. Because even if I was to form a Non Profit Pickleball Club, I’d have to cashflow the club with my own funds and spend what I anticipated was a number of months to start a club, and more time to work with members to run it going forward.
If it was to be a For Profit Pickleball Club, I’d have to do the same investments, but probably much more. I’d need more court access and court time, and need to hire employees etc. If we were to decide we needed our own indoor facility in Cambridge, the annual investment would be well beyond my means, and I’d need to search out investors.
We Decided to Be a Non Profit Pickleball Club. We want to Help Cambridge
It was a lot to think about, and in the end I decided to establish a Non Profit Pickleball Club in Cambridge, Ontario. I thought the timing was right, and the need was immediate. Even though I personally would not make a profit, I’d help the people in and around Cambridge. This is hard working city, but it also has its problems.
A Good Community Needs Great Activities, We are Focused on Organizing a Great Club to Bring this Great, Fun Sport to Cambridge
I think to make a good community, you have to have good activities to do in that community, and those activities should be available easily, accessibly and affordably to a large sector of the population.
I also thought that forming a Non Profit Pickleball Club in Cambridge would be a legacy project that would last well after I’m gone.
I will continue this article in an upcoming post, in which I continue to outline the process of establishing a Pickleball Club in Cambridge
But here’s a spoiler…
Cambridge Pickleball Club is live now