You have to love anyone who has a heart for pickleball. And there are some really great people in Walla Walla, Washington who came up with the idea for outdoor pickleball courts that could be available to the whole community.
Ted Cummings is a retired school teacher who taught racquet sports at Walla Walla High School for 5 years (tennis, badminton & pickleball). He is one of 3 key people who spearheaded the community interest in having dedicated pickleball courts in Walla Walla, Washington. His key project planning team members included Dave Gibson and Nancy Kress.
In August of 2014, Ted pitched Dave on the idea that pickleball courts needed to become a reality for adults and children to play pickleball outdoors. Dave threw in the first donation and they were off spreading the word about how new pickleball courts could improve the community. Nancy had the grant writing experience and community connections. This small team got the community excited about pickleball.
The Sherwood Trust gave them a grant in the amount of $57.000 for community improvement and fitness. In five months, the pickleball community raised $130.000.
The design was drawn up and construction began.
It took 4 inches of gravel, 3 inches of asphalt, multiple layers of paint.
They had their opening ceremonies on November 5, 2015 and are already planning their first tournament for the weekend of July 22nd, 2016.
They have dedicated the courts to the Parks and Rec of Walla Walla.
They have a core group of about 35 people who get together every week to play pickleball. They have a schedule for intermediate and advanced players.They’ll be offering clinics for adults this month and will offer clinics for kids in the late spring and summer. It will be a cool addition to the summer sports programs of soccer and tennis already offered.
There is an awesome brass plaque installed on the gate number one that thanks all the main donors.
Dave, Ted and Nancy consider it one of their greatest accomplishments to offer volunteer hours to improve their community. Together they put in 900 hours into planning, presentations, grant writing and seeking donors. They put time into promotional shirt distribution and they supervised onsite contractors, net and windscreen installation and leaf-blowing projects. I’d say it was a job well done! Congratulations to you all and to your community for their support!