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Local Organization Promotes Fast Growing Sport in Area - The Woodlands

Local Organization Promotes Fast Growing Sport in Area - The Woodlands

Published: Mar 13, 2017, 2:00pm

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The game with a funny name is making its mark  on the local area! Pickleball was developed in Washington state by a congressman and his friend who had their families vacationing  together over a long weekend. With no courts or equipment, they devised a game using paddles and wiffle balls in a smaller area, similar to a badminton court. The game was easily played by everyone and then named after the family dog, Pickle, who continually chased the balls.  With a smaller court, less expensive equipment, and simple skills, the game can be played by all ages and abilities!   Pickleball gives players an opportunity for fitness, social interaction, and some friendly competition.

Since origination, the sport has gained popularity in the United States and overseas, with it achieving the status as one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. To further learning and developing the game across the country, the USAPA, governing body for Pickleball, has founded the Pickleball Ambassador program, which encourages Pickleball enthusiasts to help promote the fun and exciting game.  Recently, three new Ambassadors have joined the USAPA ranks for the region. Mary Simpson, Ernie Ortiz, and Teena Sandberg have committed time and efforts to help promote the game in The Woodlands, Magnolia, Spring, and Conroe Areas. They have offered free clinics and educational opportunities at various venues.  Several local clubs and groups have also started programs in the area to meet the growing popularity of the sport.

Pickleball is currently being played at Villa Sport in The Woodlands, Conroe Recreation Center, April Sound Tennis and Fitness Club, Walden Tennis and Fitness Club, and at select YMCAs.  The  Lake Conroe Pickleball Friends is a combined group which plays at multiple facilities. Lake Conroe Pickleball Friends holds free learn to play clinics and mixer events monthly. The USAPA has an online directory of locations which offer pickleball play and lessons. Villa Sport The Woodlands will be having a tournament in April with information found on their website. Lake Conroe Pickleball Friends will be having a free Learn to Play clinic on Monday, March 27th with information on Lake Conroe Pickleball Friends facebook page.  For additional information on other pickleball opportunities, contact teenasandberg@gmail.com.
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