By Ian Kingsbury
PICKLEBALL is the fastest growing sport in the United States and in 2020 it grew by 21.3 percent to 4.2 million players and is expected to exceed 5 million by the end of this year.
Although the initiative will be celebrated in Gosport the day before, the objective of World Pickleball Day – October 10 – is to establish it as a game played across the world and not just North America.
Pickleball is also growing in the United Kingdom and there are now in excess of 1,500 players registered with Pickleball England, the sport’s governing body.
What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a fun sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, over a net.
Pickleball is fun, social and friendly, the rules are simple and the game is ideal for all ages, previous racquet sport experience not necessary – great for people looking for a different type of exercise that stimulates the body and the mind.
How Can I Try Pickleball?
It couldn’t be easier to have a go at Pickleball and discover for yourself just how much fun it is! No special equipment is required and any comfortable clothing is fine. Trainers / tennis shoes are recommended.
Gosport Pickleball Club, in conjunction with Gosport Leisure Centre, is hosting a World Pickleball Open Day on Saturday/ October 9, from 11am until 3pm where you will be able to see pickleball being played.
So why not pop along to the Leisure Centre, have a go at the serving competition (which is underarm and simple), watch a game being played in the Sports Hall and if you like what you see, give it try. All necessary equipment will be available.
If you are unable to attend, don’t worry, Gosport Pickleball Club play at Gosport Leisure Centre each Wednesday from 11.30am until 1pm and Saturdays from 11am until 1pm. Just contact me, certified IPTPA coach Ian Kingsbury, Gosport Pickleball Club (02392 552881 or firstname.lastname@example.org) and make arrangements to come along for a free taster session – equipment supplied.
(WARNING: You will probably become addicted!)
Stock Image of Pickleball (Shutterstock)