If you have not discovered pickleball and its lasting effect yet, it is likely only a matter of time. Quite honestly, if you are a busy individual with numerous responsibilities and commitments, my professional opinion is as follows: don’t touch it with a 10-foot pole due to its alluring addiction!
At the Waterloo Pickleball Club (WPC), we field two dozen calls a week and see anywhere from 10 to 20 new player interests each week. With all the equipment, expertise, and encouragement to support player interest, we certainly don’t make it easy for you to turn and run in the opposite direction. A person’s first glance at pickleball is usually with some type of sneer or assessment that the game is a) for “old people” (Wrong — We do, however, have some players in their mid-80’s who would like nothing more than to shame your thoughts on this.), b) has something to do with pickles (Wrong again, although we have been known to incorporate pickles as a joke because we can.), and c)not challenging enough (How hard could pickleball be, right? Right and wrong, and it’s subject to ones abilities and interest in putting one’s money where one’s mouth is). Pickleball is a program that extends its self to all ages and all abilities. From the ageso f eight or ten years old right up to 98 years of age, this game can be shared on the court with a level of equitable play. It develops players physically, cognitively, and socially, both on and off the court.
If you read claims like “Pickleball —Fastest Growing Court Sport in the World” it’s because pickleball is actually the fastest growing court sport in the world. It’s no joke! In my experience, with the game including 35,250 players in the last four years, I fully support this claim as factual. Week over week, month over month, and year over year, the incline of participation in the sport (yes, pickleball is a sport) is amazing. While the name “pickleball” struggles to generate respect from window shoppers, it’s just a matter of time until the awkward name blends into the landscape and is masked with greater game awareness and acceptance.
Watch for information on the 2018 Ontario Pickleball Association Championships being hosted in Waterloo this September!
Pickleball: the most intergenerational sport of our time. Come and Find Your Play with #ActiveWaterloo. For more information visit us for day’s and times to play at waterloo.ca/Pickleball.
Submitted by Jim Zuber
City of Waterloo Pickleball Club