Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Pickleball tourney draws players from around the South

Published March 4, 2018 - www.northwestgeorgianews.com

More than 100 players from as far away as Macon and Birmingham, Alabama, took over Thornton Recreation Center for the inaugural Rome (GA) Pickleball Classic.

The four-day event wrapped up Sunday.

“It’s one of the fastest-growing sports in the country right now,” said organizer JP Selle, the tennis director at Coosa Country Club.

Over the past few years, it has become a staple at both the country club and at Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation facilities.

Played with a paddle and a plastic ball, pickleball combines elements of tennis, ping-pong and badminton. According to Lisa English and Logan Yerbey — who trounced their finals opponents in mixed doubles — it’s the sport Baby Boomers have been looking for.

What makes it such a great fit?

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Cape Coral resident claims three gold medals in pickleball at the Lee County 2017 Senior Games

Published February 23, 2018 - www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com

Cape Coral resident Mike Welter recently successfully defended his three Lee County 2017 Senior Games Pickleball titles at the WaKeHatchee indoor pickleball courts.

Welter took the gold medal in singles in the men's 65-69 age category. He then teamed up with Randy Hall of Indian Creek to take the gold medal in the men's doubles age 65-69 division. Finally, he teamed up with Bobbi Little of North Fort Myers to win the gold medal in the mixed doubles age 60-64 division. He did not lose a match during this tournament.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

AAU Pickleball Serves First-Ever Event in Florida

Published February 6, 2018 - www.publicnow.com

The AAU Englewood Chill Blast Pickleball Tournament made history this weekend as the first-ever pickleball event hosted for AAU members. (What the heck is pickleball?!) More than 180 athletes from 31 states - ranging from age 19 to 75 - competed on Florida's west coast as part of the Florida Pickleball League.

'We were so excited to host the Inaugural AAU Pickleball Tournament,' said Sindee Snow, AAU Pickleball National Chair. 'Our best success comes from the individuals who participated in the event. We are looking forward to growing the sport in all ages through the country using the AAU platform.'

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pickleball Booms in Southwest Florida

Published February 2, 2018 - www.coastalbreezenews.com

The Southern Tropics Tournament Series kicked off in December with the Florida State Pickleball Championships. The Winter Classic represents the second leg of the series.

Five hundred ninety-two pickleball players competed in the East Naples Winter Classic held January 26th-28th at East Naples Community Park. Players of all ages and skill levels ranging from 3.0-5.0 participated. The organized event, well-staffed with volunteers, ran smoothly and on time as all 44 pickleball courts were busy with action. Although the blustery days proved to be a bit of a challenge, the players persevered…and those who persevered the most came away with a medal.

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

70-year-old St. Pete pickleballer overcomes adversity

Published January 24, 2018 - www.tbnweekly.com

ST. PETERSBURG – Speaking to Dean Refakes for the first time is like talking to an old friend.

The 70-year-old part-time St. Pete resident and Chicago native has the relaxed and upbeat demeanor of a favorite golfing buddy or dinner companion, as he happily recalls tales of his athletic exploits and his medical setbacks, both of which there are many. Refakes, known as “Clean Dean,” also intersperses his conversations with comments about his love of life and especially for his three daughters, whom he raised following a divorce and calls “the apples of his eye.”

That positive attitude has helped Dean overcome a litany of physical setbacks, from broken bones to balky knees and hips, to become a high-level baseball, basketball, tennis and now pickleball player, as well as a symbol for perseverance and determination for people of all ages.

“I’ve had a very nice life, and I try to enjoy it,” Refakes said shortly after winning a gold medal in pickleball at the 2017 Florida Senior Games in Clearwater in December. “My daughters are healthy, they graduated from college, and I’ve never had a problem with them. I’ve been blessed.”

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Cape Coral elite pickleball player keeps winning, promotes sport

Published December 28, 2017 - www.news-press.com

Mike Welter would be well qualified to give an annual report on the state of pickleball in Lee County and even expand on his personal accomplishments in 2017.

The 65-year-old Cape Coral elite pickleball tournament player is relentless in promoting the popular sport while collecting his own championship trophies.

It was a good year for me, maybe my best ever, and I hate to see it end, Welter said. I like to play so I keep busy.

As long as my body holds up, I'll be fine. I retired from the Marines 17 years ago and I still feel the same today physically. My uniform still fits.

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Pickleball Is On The RISE!

Published December 27, 2017 - www.hiltonhead.com

During the first week of November, the Palmetto Dunes Pickleball Center hosted the only pickleball program offered by the Road Scholar program. The Road Scholar program is an internationally recognized and acclaimed not-for-profit organization (formerly known as Elderhostel) whose mission is to open minds to new ideas, people and cultures and to engage people for whom learning is a journey of a lifetime.

The Palmetto Dunes Pickleball Center provided more than 18 hours of on-court instruction and playtime to 21 participants, most of whom were newcomers to the game of pickleball. A team of four instructors broke down the game to explain the goals and objectives of each shot and how to structure points to put you and your team in the best competitive position. The primary goal was to engage people at their level and to inspire them to become better pickleball players.
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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Coweta County Pickleball players gather for first Jingle Tournament

Published December 27, 2017 - www.times-herald.com

The Coweta Pickleball Club held its first “tournament” on Sunday Dec. 17. However it wasn’t actually a tournament.

It was a “Jingle.”    

You may be asking, “What is a Jingle?”

It was the idea of Billy Perkins, newly appointed United States Pickleball Association (USAPA) ambassador for Coweta County and Jill McKnight, president of the Coweta County Pickleball Club.

They wanted to get all the players from the different parts of the county who play at various venues together for organized play and a social.

Perkins explained that, unlike a tournament, there would be no losers and, unlike a social, there would be exercise and perspiration.

CLICK HERE to read more.