Monday, February 2, 2015

Fast-moving pickleball is catching on with OBX seniors

Published February 1, 2015 -

What are all those “old people” doing every week over at the Rec Park in Kill Devil Hills? Playing pickleball.

Pickleball’s a crazy cross between badminton, tennis, ping pong and wiffle-ball, and has been sweeping the nation since its inception in 1965. Over-age-55 communities from Arizona to Florida proclaim it as the fastest growing sport in the United States.

Outer Banks senior citizens aren’t arguing the statement. Dozens of them flock to the nets and try not to miss any of the three organized days of local play weekly.

Created by some bored family members and friends on the West Coast, their idea was to come up with something the whole family could play together. Throw into the mix a low, 36-inch-deep net, some paddles and a perforated polymer ball on a badminton-size court, and you have one lightning fast game.

Organized here a few years ago by Lynn Brooks, who coordinated with the Baum Center, the sport took off and continues to grow and grow, said Emily Gould, program coordinator for older adult services at the center. She said Parks and Rec created an indoor space for playing, and “it has certainly been up and coming and constantly getting new members year over year.”
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