Newaygo County Group 80+ and looking to expand
Christie Pollock saw an article in the Grand Rapids Press about pickleball and took it to Tamarac asking them to incorporate it in their offerings as a way to keep seniors active and competitive in addition to other fitness activities they offered.
That request several years ago has now turned into daily recreational play, leagues, and has recently formed the Newaygo County Pickleball Club, with more than 80 members currently registered .
“Pickleball is played every morning, Monday through Friday and many Saturday mornings at the Fremont Rec Center (the old high school),” said Bob Pinder, NCPC Chairperson. “We have about 80 members and are looking for more people to come and play.”
Tuesday and/or Thursday mornings or Thursday evenings are the best time for beginners, he added, but anyone is welcome on any day. The courts are set up in the gym, which can hold four courts which can accommodate four people per court. After each game, people are reshuffled so every game has different opponents and teammates. Cost is $5 for a daily guest pass, or a Rec Center membership.
The group is currently collaborating with the City of Fremont to build six outdoor courts in a parking lot adjacent to the Rec Center as part of the beautification project and the closing of Darling Street between the Rec Center and the Fremont Area District Library, said Pinder of Fremont. The Club will soon begin fundraising to help offset the cost of the new outdoor pickleball courts.
In the summer, the group also plays pickleball outdoors on tennis courts that have been resurfaced and lined with pickleball court dimensions, in collaboration with the Newaygo County Parks Department, at Henning Park in Newaygo.
“Pickleball is one of those sports that anyone can play no matter what age or skill. It is a good workout but easy on the body,” said John Sinicki, NCPC Vice Chair.
Pickleball is a cross between tennis, table tennis/ping pong, and badminton and played on a court approximately the size of a badminton court (20 ft. x 44 ft.) with a no-volley line 7 feet from the net. It is played with a solid paddle like a ping pong paddle but bigger and with a whiffle ball. It can be played in singles or doubles. If you’re curious to see it in action, there are many videos available on Youtube, just search pickleball.
“It says a lot about what fun pickleball is, from a single court in a parking lot four years ago with a handful of seniors, to more than 80 players now aged from twenty-somethings to eighty-somethings playing on a regular basis and the need for more courts,” said Pollock, NCPC board member from Fremont
For more information or just to play, contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just stop by any weekday morning from 9:00 am – 11:00 am at the Fremont Rec Center.
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