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Pickleball Hunger Strike: A Comical Tale of Sport and Controversy

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

In an unlikely twist of events, the tranquil town of Chilliwack, Canada recently found itself embroiled in a bizarre controversy centered around a beloved pastime: pickleball.

Photo credit: Harprett Dhawan

A married couple, Rajnish and Harprett Dhawan who live in Chilliwack, Canada, recently embarked on a hunger strike to protest against the noise generated by the pickleball courts near their home. The hunger strike, while garnering attention for its audacious nature, has left many scratching their heads due to the exaggerated nature of the protest.

The hunger strike, which commenced in early July, has indeed attracted attention. However, many have found the protest to be quite bizarre, given the negligible impact pickleball noise has on the community's overall well-being. Critics argue that resorting to extreme measures, such as a hunger strike, seems disproportionate and an unserious approach to addressing concerns.

“As staunch followers of Mahatma Gandhi, we have decided to follow the path shown by him to deal with systemic injustice,” the Dhawans wrote.

The city covered the fence with black tarps in hopes of reducing the sound and perhaps the visual that the couple could see from their home. They've also limiting playing hours between 9AM to dusk with suggestions of playing the sport with foam balls after 4PM.

However, the Dhawans were still very displeased claiming poor sleep and awaking in the middle of the night hallucinating about the noise of a ball striking a paddle.

The Dhawans’ problem might be solved in a few months. The city is building an indoor pickleball facility and plans to close the courts near the Dhawans’ home in November.

But of course for the Dhawans, that’s not soon enough.

While this unusual hunger strike may have briefly captured the spotlight, it appears that pickleball will continue to thrive although not without growing pains throughout the world.


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