By Robert Simmons
According to witnesses, at around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday July 30, a group of 14 entered the Peninsula Tennis Clubhouse, led by Stefan Boyland and Mike Shinzaki of Pickleball SD.
They dismissed warnings from manager Duncan Depew and staff that the club was a ‘tennis-only facility’ and drove to the nearest court, where they set up two temporary pickleball nets, displacing tennis members who had reserved the land.
The police arrived around 4:30 p.m. and managed to persuade the group to leave, but not before they had played on the pitch for about forty minutes.
Reportedly, the group claimed that the Peninsula Tennis Club does not have a permanent Special Use Permit (SUP) and therefore the Peninsula Tennis Courts are a public space that anyone can use, without paying land fees.
According to Peninsula Chairman Jon Saunders, “We now have a signed permit from the city, to deter further incidents like this. The board is considering indefinitely banning everyone who participated and whom we can identify, due to their disruptive behavior.
In addition to displacing members, the incident disrupted a children’s tennis camp that was also taking place at the time. Eva Bonelli, a parent of two boys attending the camp, felt that “taking instruction time away from these kids already in the field is just disappointing. I was receptive to pickle ball and enjoy playing it myself, but the way these adults talked to the kids and acted soured me on any future plans Pickleball SD offered.