New courts draw players from near and far
By Ken DeLaat
Pickleball- A fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes and playedas doubles or singles.
Ok a simple definition to be sure but the game runs deeper than that. Having done some court time on a few occasions I can bear witness to the level of passion inherent in Pballers. They adore the sport, whether as one who gets out there to just bang around a few balls or someone who stokes old competitive fires by approaching the game with a level of intensity aimed at -sharpening their skills and pushing their ability forward.
Locally Pickleball has continued to grow in popularity and the demand for court space has increased as well.
The Newaygo County Pickleball Club a formidable force of dedicated Pickleballers helped spur the efforts to include a set of outdoor courts designed specifically for the sport as part of the City of Fremont Darling Walkway Project and this spring it has come to fruition.
If there was ever any question about the need, a Friday visit on a pleasant 60 degree morning would quickly dash any skepticism.
The courts were packed with folks from all over the county ranging in age from 18-82 with others waiting for their turn on the courts. As we watched more cars pulled up and parked on the street since the adjacent lot was filled.
And while some younger players were evident the majority of players were likely eligible for the various senior discounts one can get with or without the AARP card (10% off at Denny’s throughout the country).
Kudos to the city for giving this nod to the sport in their project and to all those who provided the support to see it through completion. These courts are a prime example of how health and fitness can be promoted by providing people with desirable space to pursue their passion.
And believe me, when it comes to pickleballers?
The level of passion among even the most avid of golfers looks like a mere passing fancy in comparison to that of these court folks.
And if you know any golfers you know exactly what I’m talking about.