Letter: Public pressure points to park pickleball problem

From: Kim Harris


My family went to Donner Park to play pickleball on the six courts there. We were run off the courts simply because we were not pickleball club members. There are six courts and three were in use by club members. The other three had non-club members using them. The folks on one court who were not pickleball club members were run off the court, even though there were no members waiting to play. It remained empty for nearly 30 minutes. When the nonmembers returned and again started playing, a pickleball club member again asked them to leave the court.

We gave up our court since we had been there a while to the non ember group. This was very frustrating and uncalled for. Have the Columbus pickleball club members been given complete control of the Donner courts to do as they please? Again, this is a public park.

I am aware that the pickleball club helped raise money for the courts at Donner. I don’t feel that just because the pickleball club helped raise money to build more courts, that they should be allowed to claim complete ownership and control of the courts, especially when there are open, unused courts. They should use four courts and continue to rotate in. This allows nonmembers to use the other two courts.

Pickleball has become a fast-growing sport. Donner Park is a public park and the only place to play Pickleball outside. I do not recall a vote being announced to give a private organization control of a public space! There are a lot of folks in Columbus that would like to be able to play Pickleball without being held hostage by a private organization for the right to play.

Columbus Parks has an abundance of properties in the Columbus area, surely they can spare a bit of ground for free and unattached play, especially if the pickleball club members are being rude to nonmembers that would like to use this public park area.

If this is not a viable option, then designate a couple of evenings (4-9 p.m.) during the week for families and the general public to be free to play without fear of being accosted for not being a member of a private organization. There is a pickleball member schedule posted on site, but it does not allow nonmembers room to play after they get off work. All courts are taken by pickleball club members from 4 to dark every day except for Sunday.

Does this seem fair to the public that does not want to become a pickleball club member?