Pickleball Nova Scotia would like to congratulate Renda Vandertoorn as our recipient of the 2021 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Renda has taken a very enthusiastic lead role in promoting the sport of pickleball. Having graduated from Acadia University with a Physical Education degree, Renda taught elementary and junior high Physical Education for 30 years. Upon retiring in 2017, she has leveraged her teaching skills with with her love of pickleball and is passing along all her knowledge and enthusiasm to encourage people – especially females – to learn this game properly, encourage them to be physically active, and enjoy the camaraderie that this sport provides.
She initially formed a Pickleball Skills Group in Hantsport and willingly gave up her Wednesday mornings to provide players with the help they needed to improve their game. She also worked with various Recreation Directors and organized a Beginner Level Pickleball Clinic at the Hants Memorial Community Centre in Windsor. Many of those participants came away from that clinic with the desire to learn more and continue playing the game as a direct result of Renda’s enthusiastic approach to teaching the sport.
After confirming that there was sufficient interest, Renda organized a Women’s Pickleball Skills Program at the Louis Millett Community Centre in New Minas. Over 45 people registered for this program, and Renda continued to provide training in a fun and informative manner. She has also attended many other venues over the last year to give instruction on the game and has organized many pickleball tournaments within her community including the Annual New Year’s Day Pickleball Tournament in Hantsport.
Renda was approached by the Valley Recreation Directors group (members from throughout the Valley to Yarmouth area) to speak about pickleball at a Recreation Directors’ Meeting in Halifax. Accompanied by some Pickleball Nova Scotia board members, Renda took the lead in that presentation which was a real eye opener for the Recreation Directors on just how fast the sport of pickleball has been growing.
With Renda’s contribution to the pickleball community, so many people – especially seniors – have benefitted from her instruction and are continuing to be physically and socially active within the community. She has definitely become a great Ambassador for pickleball in Nova Scotia and we wish to congratulate her on being nominated and selected as this year’s recipient.