According to the United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA), “Ambassadors are volunteers who have pledged to promote the sport of pickleball and the USAPA in the local area they have applied to represent. They may be individuals or couples, or a group of ambassadors working together as a team. The main prerequisite is a love of the sport and the desire to share our game with others of all ages. Some full-time RV’ers are Ambassadors ‘at large’ who promote our sport during their travels.
I heard a rumor that Helen White would be a great person to talk to about all things pickleball in the DC/Arlington, VA area. I contacted her recently to see if she would share some of her story. What I learned was something quite fantastic.
“I live in Arlington and play most of my pickleball at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center. In 2012, I became the USAPA Ambassador for Arlington County. Knowing that the surrounding areas did not have any pickleball, I helped to start public programs in Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Montgomery County and DC as well as several private programs. My title soon changed to USAPA Ambassador for Northern Virginia (and included DC and the Maryland suburbs). And recently, I was appointed as the USAPA Mid-Atlantic District Ambassador.
“I also made a site visit to a community center in DC to talk to the director who is interested in starting a pickleball program in the fall, and conducted an Intro to Pickleball program at a local swim and tennis club. I recently competed in the National Senior Games in Minneapolis. In 2013, I won a silver medal in Women¹s 60+ Singles, a silver medal in women¹s 60+ basketball (AA division) and a bronze medal for coaching a 70+ women¹s basketball team (AA division). This year, I am only able to compete in basketball because of schedule conflicts with pickleball. However, I am playing pickleball in the inaugural pickleball tournament in the National State Games in Omaha in early August.
“Recently, I arranged for pickleball to be offered as a demonstration sport during the 2015 Fairfax World Police and Fire Games.
Casey Clark, a fire fighter and battalion chief from Fresno, CA, joined in during the demonstration. Casey is an avid pickleball player! He prefers to play pickleball and he wants to figure out how to add pickleball as an official sport in upcoming WPFS games.
“Seems to me that pickleball is gaining momentum all across North America and the world. If there are pickleball players that would like to see pickleball added to the WPFS games in 2017, let’s see if we can get a campaign started to grow support for the idea.”
We agree with you Helen that it’s a great idea to support the campaign to get pickleball added to the events offered at the World Police and Fire Games in 2017, which will be held in Montreal. If you agree, lets see if we can add some fuel to the fire! If you are interested in supporting their effort to get pickleball added to the WPF Games, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll forward your email to Helen and Casey.