• facebook Login Facebook Login
Jan papi
2018-07-14 17:02:55

Pickleball rising in popularity
Pickleball was established in 1965, but the sport has grown exponentially during the last 15 years.
But what is Pickleball?
"Pickleball is a great sport that's going across the nation. It's the most popular sport right now and it's kind of a combination of tennis and ping pong -- and racket ball, maybe." said Pickleball veteran Mary Lou Church of Portsmouth.
Rhode Island District Ambassador of Atlantic Pickleball Cliff Teixeria shared similar sentiments.
"It's a combination of ping pong, badminton and tennis, but not all the stress involved in any of those other sports," he said
Pickleball is played on a surface one-third the size of a regulation tennis court, with a net lowered to 34 inches. Players use a paddle and a Polymer ball, which is similar to a whiffle ball.
"Playing on one-third the size of a normal tennis courts, you're not running around as much. It's not as bad on your knees or your back, yet you're getting a good cardiovascular workout and just the whole team aspect (and) community aspect of this game (is) brining communities together." said Teixeria.
Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in America. There's a 400 percent growth in the last six years and more than three million active players.
"I love it. I think it's a great sport that transverses the ages," said Church. "I mean, you can play, 5 year olds can play and 85 year olds can play."
Pickleball newcomer Kate Bonneau of Barrington agreed.
"To me, it's like a meditation when you are doing this you can't think of whatever else is going on in your life, so it's a time out just to let you have a break, have some fun (and) meet some new people," Bonneau said.
The Bristol Pickeball Club will host the Ocean State Pickleball Classic Saturday from the South Kingstown Recreational Center. All proceeds will go to "Alex's Smile Fund" through the Meeting Street School.