Sunday, September 17, 2017

'An event for everyone': Pensacola (FL) Senior Games brings out competitive spirit

Published September 17, 2017 - www.pnj.com

Robert Blouin knows his parents and grandparents weren't as active as he is at age 67.

"They were on the couch or in the rocking chair,'' Blouin said. "Not very mobile."

Not Blouin and his fellow seniors at the William J. "Red" Vickrey Resource Center on Friday. Dozens of folks ages 50 and older took to the hard courts for a pickle ball tournament — part of the Pensacola Senior Games, which run through Sept. 24.

Minutes later, Blouin was on the court at the Vickrey Center swatting the pickle ball — think wiffle ball — with his paddle, which resembles an over-sized table tennis paddle.
 
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Enterprise (AL) to host inaugural Pickleball Social

Published September 6, 2017 - www.southeastsun.com

Enterprise Parks and Recreation will be hosting the inaugural Pickleball Social this Thursday, Sept. 7, at 5:45 p.m. at the M.N. Brown Rec Center.

This event is free to people that want to learn to how play Pickleball. All equipment will be provided free of charge after everyone is taught how to play. Games will be played, too.

Hamburgers and chips will also be provided for those in attendance for free.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, August 28, 2017

2017 Aiken (SC) Pickleball Tournament

Published www.pickledillys.com

The fifth annual Palmetto Indoor Pickleball Doubles Invitational was held from August 17 through August 20. Tournament co-directors Mo Garcia and Keith Shaver did an outstanding job putting together a fantastic event. Over 200 participants enjoyed a day of clinics, lessons and pro-am events, a Friday evening social, and last but not least three days of pickleball made up of 24 separate events in men’s, women’s and mixed doubles. Participants also received lunch each day they played and a swag bag stuffed full of goodies that was an actual paddle cover. Where else do you see that?

The tournament owes a debt of gratitude to the many generous sponsors, most especially the Platinum level sponsor Scott Singer, financial adviser w/ Janney Montgomery LLC. Thanks also go out to our Gold level sponsors, the USAPA (c/o Mike & Loretta Beckner, Ambassadors), Mo Power Sport (supplier of paddles, nets, balls, t-shirts, medals and paddle covers). Silver level sponsors included Security Federal Bank, South Aiken Physical Therapy, and G4 Power Products. Bronze level sponsors included CMI-Carolina Muscular Institute, Baker Family Dentistry and Suzy Haslup Realty. Pickleball Central, Paddletek, LongHorn Steakhouse, Golden Corral and Chick-fil-a also contributed. Without their assistance and support, the event would not have been the tremendous success it was. If you get the chance, please show your appreciation by patronizing those who supported us.

Mike Beckner and Jim Kabel marshalled a force of over 90 volunteers who donated time and talent to supporting this year's pickleball tournament. Special thanks go to Nelson Spitnale (in charge of the tournament desk volunteers), Bill Reynolds (court monitors), Loretta Beckner (referees), Connie Dennis (swag bags), Pat Smith (t-shirts) and Sharon McMichael (registration desk). The lunch room was managed by Donna Vetsch, Kathy Reiter, Kathy Clemmens, John and Sherry Myers, Nancy Hughes, Rita Supan, and Jane Deese. Maria James, Denis Bonnet, and Michele Bullington did the facility management. Thanks to all these efforts, this year's tournament was an unqualified success!

The weekend kicked off with world class professional pickleball players and national champions Simone Jardim and Laura Fenton Kovanda running clinics and lessons for 45 players. After the lessons, we were treated to a pro-am event. Eighteen Aiken Pickledillys got to play a game with the pros. The last two games saw our best teams, Tony Quick/Vicki McNair and Josh Booth/Jordan Goetzman, line up on the same side and take on the pros head to head.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Palmetto Indoor Pickleball Doubles International kicks off

Published August 19, 2017 - www.aikenstandard.com


The Palmetto Indoor Pickleball Doubles International is being held at the H. Odell Weeks Activity Center this weekend and has women's doubles, men's doubles, and mixed doubles.

Saturday's games were part of the mixed doubles tournament.

The sport of pickleball was started in 1965, and Keith Shaver, one of the tournament directors, said that while the game started with older people playing, younger demographics have picked it up and estimates are that about three to four million people are playing.

He said that pickleball is considered the fastest growing sport in the country.

There is an intramural program at USC Aiken and schools are introducing pickleball into their gym classes.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Pickleball gaining popularity with Coweta (GA) tennis players

Published August 18, 2017 - www.times-herald.com

Former tennis players in Coweta are starting to play another sport- Pickleball.
Pickleball is a sport that combines tennis, badminton and pingpong, and is played by two to four players using paddles and a plastic ball with holes, on either an indoor or outdoor court about one-third the size of a standard tennis court, according to www.extramile.thehartford.com, a website with information on topics of everyday life, like home improvement, health and wellness, new technologies, and car-related subjects.     Pickleball is appealing people in their 50s, 60s and 70s who used to play tennis or are looking for an activity that offers good aerobic exercise. It’s not as strenuous as traditional racket sports and gives players the chance to socialize during the game.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bonita Springs YMCA Spends $300,000 on Pickleball

Published August 16, 2017 - www.wgcu.org


A Southwest Florida YMCA recently spent more than a quarter of a million dollars to update its facilities for the nation’s fastest-growing sport many have never heard of.

The prominent popping sound pickleball makes can be heard at county recreation centers, public parks and, for many, in their own neighborhoods.

“If you look around, we don't have any near neighbors, and pickleball can tend to be a little bit noisy,” Mark Suwyn said. “And, so, you need to put it — the courts — where there’s nobody that you’re bothering when you’re actually playing.”
 
Suwyn heads the advisory board for the Bonita Springs YMCA. He says the community asked for more pickleball courts for quite some time. The Y simply listened.
 
It set aside three hundred thousand dollars to build eight outdoor courts — each about a third the size of a tennis court.
 
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Doug Lily Wins Double Gold in Augusta

Published July 17, 2017 - www.pickledillys.com
Newman Tennis Center in Augusta (GA) held its first Pickleball Slam on July 15 and 16.  The Aiken Pickledillys gave an outstanding performance.
We learned you can’t spell “Double Gold” without “Doug”.  Our very own Doug Lilly capped an impressive weekend by winning the Intermediate Mixed Doubles gold with partner Chris Powers in a thrilling three-game finals match with fellow Pickledillys Marian Garcia and Jim Kabel.  On Saturday, Doug shook off a sore neck, put his partner Jim Hughes on his back and carried the team to a gold medal in the Intermediate Men’s Doubles.  Let it never be said Doug can’t play with pain!
Marian and Chris already knew the way to the medals podium since they also won silver in the Women’s Doubles on Saturday.  They won three out of four matches in the round-robin format.  The Aiken contingent was also well represented by John Fuller, Jeff Beckner, Sue Talada and Russell Crews.
We also want to congratulate some Augusta players who often find their way to Odell Weeks.  Denisse Martinez won two golds (Women’s Doubles, Advanced Mixed Doubles), Anne Rheins won gold in Women’s Doubles and Daniel Davis won gold in Advanced Mixed Doubles.  Kim Sharpton fought his way through the consolation bracket twice, with his son Bilal in Intermediate Men’s Doubles and his wife QP in Intermediate Mixed Doubles.


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Friday, June 30, 2017

Pickleball, a racket sport for players of all ages, spreading across South Florida

Published June 29, 2017 - www.sun-sentinel.com

The highlight of Steve Kennedy’s professional tennis career had to be playing a first-round match in the 1987 U.S. Open, his lone Grand Slam appearance.

Thirty years later, Kennedy was once again competing in a U.S. Open. Only this time it was the second annual U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, and he was playing a fast-growing racket sport that’s sometimes referred to as table tennis on steroids.

Kennedy, 51, a Fort Lauderdale native who has taught tennis in the Jimmy Evert Tennis Center at Holiday Park for the past 27 years, reached the finals of the 50-and-over senior singles pro division.

Like thousands of tennis-playing baby boomers, Kennedy has fallen in love with pickleball, a combination of tennis, racquetball, table tennis and badminton that is spreading across America. It’s especially popular in South Florida, where courts are sprouting in city parks, gated communities, retirement villages, YMCAs and suburban neighborhoods.

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