Friday, June 30, 2017

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

Published June 29, 2017 -

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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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Locals bring home pickleball medals at Georgia State Games

Published June 29, 2017 -

The game of pickleball has been around for more than 50 years and is a wooden racquet sport that is similar to tennis, badminton and table tennis.

It was started by accident when Washington State politician Joel Pritchard invented the game as a way to give his children something to do. He lowered a badminton net and, instead of using a shuttlecock to hit the ball, they used a whiffle ball.

What started out as a game for children has grown into a sport for adults.

It’s growing in popularity among some residents of Coweta County. Last weekend, several local players participated in the annual Georgia State Games at Tyrus Park in Griffin.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Grand opening June 27 for pickleball courts

Published June 21, 2017 -

Area residents are invited to the grand opening of Wake Forest’s (NC) new Flaherty Park pickleball courts at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 27. The four outdoor lighted courts are near the Flaherty Park tennis courts at 1226 North White Street.

Sponsored by Orthopedic Physical Therapy Associates, the grand opening celebration will include a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by drinks, light refreshments and demonstrations by local players.

A capital improvement project, the construction of the four dedicated pickleball courts was approved by the town board as part of the 2016-17 budget at a total cost of $122,000.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mayberry Pickleball Tournament Summary

Published June 20, 2017 -

The 2nd Annual Mayberry Pickleball Tournament was held this past weekend in Mount Airy, NC. The tournament attracted 90+ players from across the state of North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia & South Carolina. All proceeds from the tournament benefitted the Surry County Health Foundation which funds community-health related projects.

Tournament Co-Director, Jack Moore, stated “This was our second tournament and it was a huge success! We appreciate the support from the community and their sponsorship. The two “Meet & Greets” were a blast! It was fun hearing all the laughter, jokes and tall-tales!!”

“Feedback from our participants was positive and we are already planning how to make next year’s event even better. The quality of players was outstanding and we appreciate everyone’s enthusiastic support.” All First Place winners received a granite award. Moore further stated, “We wanted to provide them (the tournament winners) with a unique award to commemorate their stay in Mount Airy. Since our city is noted for having the world’s largest open-faced granite quarry and our nickname is “the Granite City”, so we thought a granite award was fitting.”

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