Saturday, December 8, 2018

Published December 7, 2018 -

HOLLY HILL (FL) — The City Commission on Tuesday will vote on economic incentives for a proposed recreational sports facility at Hollyland Park that some say could become the “Wimbledon of Pickleball.”

An Ormond Beach couple has offered to donate $3 million to build the planned 24-court complex at the city’s Hollyland Park.

It would be the second-largest pickleball facility in Florida, trailing only a 50-court facility in Naples.

The target opening date for the Pickleball Daytona of Holly Hill complex is early 2020.

Rainer and Julie Martens are asking the city to contribute $1 million in Community Redevelopment Area funds to cover the project’s infrastructure costs.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Pickleball University Schools Programs

Submitted by Gary Carmichael, Ambassador, Vero Beach, FL

On a hot sunny afternoon in November a group of volunteer members and our own IPTPA certified instructors gathered together at Pocahontas Park in Vero Beach for the purpose of introducing pickleball to eight local physical education teachers.

Pickleball University decided earlier this year that we wanted to take the sport of pickleball into our local schools in Indian River County, so you may ask how did we make this happen?  Our club's Board of Directors lead by club president, Mari Colacino, identified a small core group of our players to form a "Schools/Juniors" committee.  Together they developed a plan to raise money, purchase equipment, identify and train volunteer club members who assist our professional instructors.

Over time our club members started reaching out to friends and friends or friends involved in our local schools at all levels to seek out teachers and identify school physical education programs that expressed some interest in pickleball.  Sounds easy enough right?  About as easy as hitting a successful around-the-post pickleball shot!

The group of PE teachers that came out to our courts on that hot November afternoon had a great time learning what pickleball is all about.  To a person they expressed a sincere desire to teach our great sport to their students.

Our committee hopes to continue its good work into the new year by expanding our youth programs i the district and beyond.  The $1100 we raised were used to purchase w24 paddles, four portable nets, dozens of balls and a portable storage box to be circulated and used by our schools in Indian River County.  Our club's mission now is to grow and strengthen our partnership with the school district and together pass our love of this great sport onto the students.  Our vision is to have every child be able to learn how to play pickleball.  It is a sport that can be played for a lifetime!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pickleball comes to Pinedale

Published October 17, 2018 -

Members of the Enterprise Parks and Recreation Department made a stop at Pinedale on Oct. 16 to introduce students to pickleball, a unique sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.

According to Enterprise Parks and Recreation Programs Coordinator Guillian Hunt, the department began offering pickleball as an activity last year and it has gained popularity since.

She said this is part of an initiative to introduce the sport to students at local schools as an alternative to typical sports such as basketball, football and baseball.

“I learned pickleball when I was in physical education classes in Virginia, and it was something different from all the sports you were doing over and over, every day, each year,” Hunt said. “It ended up being something that my whole family enjoyed and became a great family sport for us.”
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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Green Cove Springs serves pickleball program to public

Published September 12, 2018 -

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. - Twice a week inside Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym laughter and cheering can be heard against the rhythmic pop of racquetball-style paddles lobbing what looks like large ping-pong balls over a tennis net.

It’s the sound of Green Cove Springs swinging into the growing sport of pickleball.

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It’s played on a tennis court with smaller boundaries, and players use a large paddle to hit a large, yellow plastic ball with holes over the tennis net to gain points.

The program is led by Green Cove Springs Parks and Recreation Program Director Glee Glisson, a competitive pickleball player. With Tim Murphy, music minister of First Baptist Church in Middleburg, Glisson has competed and won several pickleball tournaments in both age and skill level brackets.

“If you want to be competitive, you can do it at all levels,” said Glisson. “You can play this sport as easy as you want or as competitive as you want.”

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Pickleball Pride in Hiawassee, GA

The 68th year of the "Hiawassee Parade" kicked off on July 21, 2018 with the theme of "Hometown Pride."  Over 70 players from the Georgia Mountain Pickleball Club participated and the awesome float can be viewed on YouTube here.

On the float, you will see the "pickle" and "ball" characters waving at the crowd and promoting the sport as we move along the route towards the fairgrounds.We had many that volunteered for this float project and worked numerous hours to get it completed on time.

Beth McCoy had a vision and worked tirelessly on the entire project for weeks, including making her own "Ball" costume! She was the driving force behind the project.

Many others volunteered numerous hours----Dean McCoy, Blake Harper, Virginia Steiner (dance coordinator), Tammy Lentini, Mark Petty and Eddie Palmer as the "pickle." As always, our Ambassador, John Hall who devotes an enormous amount of time for all things pickleball in Towns County participated in every aspect, including walking the 2 miles with the float to the parade end.

The small demo net that was pulled behind the float for demonstrating the sport was a classic, thanks to Blake Harper.

We also had 70 players that donated their time to walk with the float and interact with the parade goers the entire 2 miles on a hot July day.

Unfortunately, we didn't place in the contest for best float, but no one had more energy or volunteers then the pickleball float!  

Since the parade, we have had new players flocking to the courts on Saturday mornings for the novice classes. That is what you call "pickleball success!"

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Welter, teammates earn pickleball gold medals in Ohio, Michigan

Published August 17, 2018 -

Cape Coral resident Mike Welter participated in the Michigan Senior Olympics in pickleball this past weekend. He won gold in singles and gold in mixed doubles with Nancy Robertson of Naples and took bonze with Glenn Geda of Michigan. Last month Welter participated in the Ohio State Senior Games and took gold in singles and gold in mixed doubles with North Fort Myers resident Bobbi Little, and took silver with Denny Vincent of Columbus, Ohio, and a part-time resident of Naples.

These games were both qualifiers for the National Senior Games in June, 2019, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Rookie gets schooled in a game of pickleball

Published June 18, 2018 -

A little over a month ago, a friend and I were working out at a local YMCA and could not help but notice how much fun a big group of people were having playing what looked like a smaller version of tennis in the gym.

So we went in, were handed a set of paddles and given a crash course on pickleball.

I’ve been hooked ever since.

In fact, it has become a new facet of my fitness journey — one that has seen me drop 115 pounds in the last year and a half. That weight loss helped my agility on the small courts — enough to chase that little whiffle ball down for corner shots.

Fast forward a few weeks to an email inviting me to come out for a morning of pickleball at Sun-N-Fun RV Resort in Sarasota, a chance to experience the outdoor game for the first time.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Southwest Florida scores again with U.S. Open Pickleball Championships

Published April 1, 2018 -

It’s fairly easy to assess the dollar impact of a large event – like the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships – on the community. This is the third year in Naples for the championship, scheduled for April 21-28.

Jack Wert, executive director and CEO of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, cites an industry standard formula used for sporting events to project that the competition will bring in $3 million. And it gets extra points with the county because it takes place well after Easter, the traditional end of snowbird season. That means more money to the area in what could have been a meager time.

The expected total for 2018 builds on about $2 million from 2016, when 800 players entered; then about $2.5 million in 2017, with 1,200 players. The 2,000 players expected this year, plus spectators, spend money on hotel rooms, dinners, souvenirs and in some cases, homes in Southwest Florida.

CLICK HERE to read more.