Last year our Director of Sales, John Cowley, took part in a sister city program between Kent and the Sunnfjord area in Norway.
It’s a beautiful place home to “artists, handcrafters, folk musicians and dancers” and is called “the home of waterfalls” due to its beautiful landscape streaked with over 50 waterfalls tumbling over mountainsides and into Norway’s deepest fjord, the Sognefjord.
Being the pickleball fanatic that he is, John decided to bring pickleball supplies along with him on his trip to introduce the sister city members to our favorite game!
The result was a rousing success, especially since fellow participant Inge Larsen was already involved with the recreation center in Sogn og Fjordane where John stayed. Both the kids and adults took to the game easily and enjoyed getting in on the action.
In addition to his pickleball play time, John got to try freshly-made beer tapped directly from a birch tree (which he said was fantastic) and explored the gorgeous surroundings with new friends.
A particularly amusing story is that of Stigen, an area on the western side of the fjord where two farms sit just above some extremely steep paths. The name comes from the Norwegian word “stiger,” meaning ladder, because once you reach the highest part of the hill ladders must be used to reach the farms.
In older times when the church’s men would travel around the area collecting tithes, the clever farmers of Stigen would grab their ladders and make themselves scarce, preventing the tax collectors from taking their hard-earned coin!
John had a wonderful time and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend others explore sister cities and other ways to share pickleball across the globe. As we’ve found again and again as pickleball reaches international locations, people love its simple rules and addictive gameplay just as much as we do.
Check out this quick video John shot of some Norwegian players learning the ropes!
And maybe relate to that moment when you’re ready to slam a winner and end up driving the ball into the net instead of the opponent’s feet…
Have you ever gone on a sister city trip, or would it be something you’re interested in? What opportunities would you like to spread pickleball internationally?