Pickleball in Papua New Guinea: Health and Pickleball, Hand in Hand

This story is from our customer Joyce Baranowski. Enjoy!

I recently returned from Papua New Guinea and wanted to share my story and pictures with you.

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Being in a third world country makes one feel very appreciative for the conveniences we have in America, but also makes one wonder why we have so much stuff. The Papuan nationals are extremely poor with 90% unemployment. Most have no shoes and the clothes they wear are worn and dirty. They wash themselves and their clothes down by the river and cook their food in a large pot over a fire. Thankfully, they live in a climate that allows them to grow food year round, so they don’t go hungry.  They eat to live, unlike us, who live to eat.

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The hospital station where my daughter and her family live is a lifeline to the people. Without the doctors and nurses at this hospital, many would die. Right now there are 9 American missionary doctors (along with their families), a radiologist missionary from South Africa, a dentist missionary from Canada, and 4 American missionary project leaders with their families.

Their service and commitment is a blessing to this area of Papua New Guinea. If you’d like to read more about the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, you can visit www.nazarenehospitalfoundation.org.

grandson Miles and Mom Rachel

Grandson Miles and Mom Rachel

Needless to say, the Papuan nationals had never heard of pickleball. They are always amazed by the strange games the Americans are playing like tennis and volleyball. Not only had the Papuan nationals never heard of pickleball, neither had any of the missionaries! It was great fun to introduce the game to the missionaries. They knew I was coming to teach them how to play pickleball and were excited to learn.

Joyce and friend with grandson Miles

Joyce and a friend with Miles

One of the guys got online to figure out the size of the court and had the lines painted on the area where they play tennis and basketball before I got there.

The surface is asphalt and not the smoothest, but it made the game more challenging to play. You never knew where the ball was going once it hit the ground in certain parts of the court!

I was not only encouraged by how fast the people picked up the rules of the game, but by how quickly they were able to pass the rules on to each of the newbies that came to play.

My daughter Rachel was really excited about getting a tournament together, but each weekend was busy with other activities. I’m sure it will happen, unfortunately  I just won’t be there to participate! It was nice to see the missionaries enjoying themselves with this new sport.

Several of them told me many times to please thank the people who donated the equipment. So a big THANK YOU to PICKLEBALLCENTRAL for the paddles and balls!

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I really can’t say for sure this is the only place in Papua New Guinea where pickleball is played, but its fun to think that it is there now, and I was able to introduce local folks to this wonderful game.

Thank you, Joyce, for sharing your story with our readers. We are glad to support your efforts to take this game to a new place like Papua New Guinea. Hopefully some of the Papuan nationals will grow to love the game as much as Pacific Northwesterners, where the game began in the 60’s!

Bellevue Pickleball Meetup Finds New Fans

Pickleball meetup this Sunday (6/26) from 3:30 – 6:30 in Renton, WA on Talbot Hill! Click here to RSVP.

A couple weeks ago PickleballCentral had the good fortune of meeting a young player named Boyd Massie, who’s local to the Seattle area. After chatting for a time we found out that he was not only a talented player, but a great pickleball advocate! After finding several courts for use in Bellevue, Boyd decided to begin a Meetup group for those wanting to play pickleball. Score another point for the game’s growth!

Boyd was kind enough to take the time for a quick interview with us, so if you’re interested in how simple it can be to start a local pickleball group or want to find more players in the area, be sure to have a look.

Bellevue pickleball courts

Meeting at the Bellevue pickleball courts

What’s your background in sports and how did you find out about pickleball?

I’ve always loved spots and played my fair share, including competitive soccer, bowling, cross country, track, basketball and tennis. I had the awesome experience of playing collegiate tennis and continue to hit as well as play in a league.

I was first introduced to this great sport by a coworker nearly 2 years ago . I’ve always enjoyed racquet and paddle sports (tennis, ping pong, racquetball and badminton), so I had a feeling I would probably like pickleball… I just didn’t know I’d enjoy it this much!

What inspired you to create a pickleball meetup?

I had joined a few hiking Meetup groups to see what the service was all about. Meetup has the great ability to bring people together to enjoy an activity. Or better yet, it’s a way to find out about interesting events and meet new faces.

I created this group because it didn’t exist. I also wanted to bring the excitement I first felt to others. And (selfishly) I was having troubles finding players to hit with.

How did you go about securing the courts for your group? 

I literally ran across the International School Pickleball courts in Bellevue by accident. I was jogging one day from work to the Kelsey Creek area, and low and behold, legit pickleball courts… 6 of them! I then called the school and discovered that with a small fee and by signing a waiver, I could get key access to the courts.

Playing a game at the meetup

Playing a game at the meetup

How many people showed up and did they already know how to play pickleball? 

There have been 2 meetups so far and I would consider both a success! 14 people excitedly showed up for the first; 9 for the second. A good majority of the people were newbies, but they did have some background in tennis or some other paddle/racquet sport. Others had been playing for years.

Did the beginners take to the game quickly? Was everyone welcoming?

Pickleball is very accommodating for beginners. With a few adjustments (ball doesn’t bounce very high, the feel of the paddle and ball, court dimensions, etc), people catch on very easily and have a great time playing. Everyone was extremely nice and welcoming, making it even easier for those who had never played before.

Do you have any pending times/dates for future meetups?

Yes! Our next session is going to be in Renton on Talbot Hill this Sunday (6/26) from 3:30 – 6:30pm. Click here to RSVP. There are many players who would love to play weekly and I’m trying to spread the reach throughout the region. For more information and to join the Meetup group, check out Puget Sound Pickleball.

 

Another thanks to Boyd for sharing his success with us, and best of luck to the new pickleball group! Be sure to say hi and join up if you’re in the area.

USAPA Ambassador Tom Widden Introduces Pickleball on the Moody Blues Cruise

A bunch of pickleball players traveled together with USAPA Ambassador Tom Widden, Lake Oswego, Oregon, aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Pearl to the Caribbean”, which featured the Moody Blues Rock ‘n’ Roll Adventure to Key West and Beyond.

Daily play over excellent Deluxe PickleNet Portable Rolling Nets had no problems with the wind. The rolling nets stored easily when not in use. We played exclusively with the fabulous new Onix Pure Ball while cruising at a speed of 20 knots.

The game was not really affected by the wind.

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Tom brought along variety of pickleball paddles from PickleballCentral to share with fellow “Moodies”, including John Lodge, founder of Moody Blues, seen here with yours truly, District Ambassador Tom Widden plus the concert promoter.  All new players caught on to the game of pickleball in just a few minutes..

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Everyone raved about the Onix Pure balls being more durable and easy to play with.  Not one broke during the cruise.

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After a morning of pickleball we settled into great concerts til late at night. We are taking in electric light orchestra here..

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Moody Blues perform on the cruise ship concert stage in the evenings.

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This historic voyage demonstrated that cruise ship sport courts are ideal for the pickleball player demographic and should be promoted as a natural combination to attract seniors who love cruises and love playing pickleball! More cruises featuring pickleball are being planned soon.

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USAPA District Ambassador Tom Widden on the Moody Blues Cruise

Best Reasons to Hold a Tournament: Featuring Northwoods Pickleball Tournament -Three Lakes, Wisconsin

Best Reasons to Hold a Tournament: Featuring Northwoods Pickleball Tournament -Three Lakes, Wisconsin

I was curious!  What are the main reasons for offering to hold a pickleball tournament?   So I started asking folks who have held tournaments recently.  Chuck Radtke and Steve Dennis have graciously taken the time to share some of the story behind the Northwoods Pickleball Tournament in Three Lakes, Wisconsin.  Enjoy!

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If you are ever in the neighborhood of Three Lakes, Wisconsin, you absolutely have to stop in and play pickleball! Three Lakes is the only community in Wisconsin that offers a chance to play pickleball 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Their lighted courts and the screens around the courts allow anyone in town the opportunity to play pickleball, any time of the day or night.

Wisconsin Map#1 Best Reason to Hold a Tournament: A Great Location

Three Lakes has 8 outdoor courts that are screened and lit for 24-hour play, and have an additional 8 courts available for indoor play when the weather gets bad. They have a good working relationship with the local schools and the rec center. In the summer they will have people playing pickleball from age 7 to the low 80’s.
The town of Three Lakes entered a contest 5-6 years ago and won the distinction of being the Single Best Town in America. Three Lakes is a part of the largest chain of lakes in North America. There are 27 lakes altogether, including the Eagle River system. The population of the township where Three Lakes is located is about 2000. Throughout the year, sports enthusiasts often double the population, except for the “Mud Season,” with fishing, hunting, snowmobiling and summer lake activities rounding out some of the offerings.

#2 Reason to Hold a Tournament: Great Organizers

Chuck and friends

Chuck Radtke checking out the schedule with tournament participants

There are two cool people in Three Lakes who are the energy behind the Northwoods Pickleball Tournament in Three Lakes: Chuck Radtke, who has been playing about 3 years and Steve Dennis, USAPA Ambassador. Steve played tennis before Chuck introduced him to pickleball. After the first couple of times playing, he bought a couple of paddles and since then has been hooked for life. He became an ambassador after about a year to keep connected with the greater pickleball community.
In the summer of 2013, Chuck and Steve introduced Pickleball to the schools. They scheduled 1 day a week, and the school arranged their Physical Education schedule to allow community pickleball during the day.  These guys are very creative.  They are always coming up with ideas to promote the game of pickleball in Three Lakes.
A year ago, during a high school basketball game during half time, they did a pickleball demonstration with a portable net and the vinyl EZ Court Lines. Chuck did the announcing while others community members demonstrated the game. It was fun. A lot of folks had never heard of pickleball and the demonstration actually got a few new folks out to try it.

Another fun thing they did to bring attention to the game: at the 4th of July parade, which draws folks from towns all around the area, they marched in the parade and did pickleball drills. One time they even had someone (Chuck) dress up as a pickle.  So they marched in formation, bouncing pickleballs,  and they did a marching drill chants, like:

Pickleball is here for you –
Come to Burnside ‘n’ play today.

#3 Reason to Hold a Tournament: Community Support

Three Lakes Photo

A Group from the Villages, Florida who came to the Northwoods Tournament

The town of Three Lakes is very supportive of pickleball, especially the Three Lakes school district and the Parks and Recreation department. Play is coordinated every day at all locations. Not as many folks play in the morning as in the afternoon and evening. They have 150 on their email list.

People in Three Lakes like to support their Green Bay Packers, so, when there is a game, they adjust their pickleball schedule. If the Packers game is in the morning, they shift pickleball into the afternoon. If the Packers play in the afternoon, then they play pickleball in the morning. Three Lakes folks are more sociable than other places that Steve has played. If folks are gone for a while, the local players always make a big deal of welcoming them back to the game. He’s had experience in places like Florida, where folks tend to be more competitive. Chuck and Steve are also Russell Wilson fans  (Seahawks quarterback) because Russell went to college in Wisconsin.

Pickleball community members provide wood paddles made by a local carpenter and provide demo paddles for people to try. They charge a little more than what is needed to cover expenses in the tournament registration fee, and the extra funds go directly to support pickleball in the community. It helps with the purchase of nets, balls, and other equipment so that pickleball can remain free to the community.

#4 Reason to Hold a Tournament: Participants Looking for a Friendly, Sociable Competition

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In the summer of 2014 they held their first non-sanctioned tournament. Because it is not sanctioned by the USAPA, they are able to keep it open for everyone to participate. There were a few folks who turned out for the competition, but most were there because of the social aspect of the game. So far they haven’t had to use the indoor courts much for their outdoor tournament. In July 2015, Coach Mo and his assistant came and conducted 3 days of clinics in Three Lakes after their tournament. The 3rd day of the clinics, they had to use the indoor courts because of inclement weather. This year will be their 3rd tournament.

Coach Mo at Northwoods

Coach Mo conducting Clinics

Responses for their tournament draw from 8 different states, involving 120 players. Their 3rd Tournament is this July. Their press release for the tournament is going out this Friday. They expect at least 120 pickleball players this year as well. The tournament is open to all and both men and women of all ages and skill levels have the opportunity to compete. It is not an elimination tournament, rather round robin, so everyone has a chance to play up to 7 times. In the last tournament, 2 men entered with their grandsons. Steve competed in his first tournament and lost all 9 times, but he still had a lot of fun, because all the folks he played with were so friendly and sociable.

#5 Reason to Hold a Tournament:
A Community With a Heart for Pickleball

The Northwoods Pickleball Tournament is offered under the umbrella of the Three Lakes Parks and Recreation Department so they don’t have to set up their own 5013c. All the money from the tournament, after expenses, goes to support pickleball and make it free to all who want to play.  Chuck and Steve also actively solicit sponsors for the Northwoods Tournament each year, and anyone who pays the $25 fee gets their company listed on the back of their tournament t-shirts.

Great Tournament Shot

Great Tournament Shot

The Three Lakes community certainly does have a huge heart for pickleball! Make sure you stop in if you are in the neighborhood!

For more info, go to the Three Lakes Group site (pickleball info at the bottom).

Local Pickleball Guides – Anchorage, Alaska and Beyond…

Local Pickleball Guides – Anchorage, Alaska and Beyond…

Pickleball Folks Alaska

Alaska Pickleball Club

The Alaska Pickleball Club is devoted to sharing the fastest growing sport in the nation to the great State of Alaska, according to their Facebook page.

USAPA Ambassadors – Alaska

Alaskan Pickleball Ambassadors have a BIG area to cover when promoting the game of pickleball.
If you need help getting a pickleball group started in your neighborhood, just get in touch with one of the following folks:

Anchorage — Donald Sutherland 907-240-6215 Anchorage AK
Fairbanks — Dalonna Cooper 907-388-6852 Fairbanks AK
Metlakatla — Dan Leask 907-886-3786 Metlakatla AK
Metlakatla — HB Tyler 907-617-4249 Metlakatla AK

Pickleball Court Construction Contractors: Alaska

If you need help getting a pickleball group started in your neighborhood, just get in touch with one of the following folks:Dynamic Sports Construction for information in building indoor sport courts in Alaska.

Alaska Pickleball Clubs

Alaska Pickleball Club
If you are looking for people who play pickleball in Alaska, you will find them by googling “pickleball Alaska” or searching the USAPA.org website, Places to Play, Alaska.  We found 3 pickleball clubs in Alaska:

University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Dome Pickleball Club
Fairbanks Pickleball Club

Pickleball Tournaments in Alaska

Check out the Alaska International Senior Games for friendly pickleball competition in Alaska.

Alaska Pickleball Related News and Youtube Videos

Read here about pickleball in the City of Homer
http://homernews.com/homer-sports-and-outdoors/adult-sports/2013-09-18/homer-residents-bring-home-gold-for-pickleball

Read here about Borough opening a pair of pickleball courts at Big Dipper
http://www.newsminer.com/sports/local_community/borough-opens-a-pair-of-pickleball-courts-at-big-dipper/article_66bf70a0-d334-11e2-976b-0019bb30f31a.html

Watch here for a video featuring pickleball in Ketchikan:

Live in Ketchikan: PickleBall!  What the Heck is it?

Local Pickleball Guide – Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Local Pickleball Guide – Ft. Wayne, Indiana

SportOne Pickleball Court

SportOne Parkview Fieldhouse, Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Ft. Wayne, Indiana….what does the name of the city bring to mind?  Well, unless you are a true Hoosier, you’ll probably be scratching your head, saying Ft. Who?   It is a great town, where three rivers meet and the people who live there have a sense of pride about their city.  

Pickleball has taken hold in Ft. Wayne, mostly because the majority of the folks living in there are age 45 and up.  It is a beautiful place, the home of Johnny Appleseed, and the home of the USAPA Regional Tournament which will be held August 14-16, 2015. 

Pickleball Courts Around Ft. Wayne

On the USAPA website, the listing of places to play pickleball in Ft. Wayne include the following:

Lions Park, 3257 Carew Street
SportOne Parkview Fieldhouse, 3946 Ice Way
Franke Park Pavillion #1, 3411 Sherman Boulevard
YWCA Dupont/Parkview, 10001 Dawson Creek
YWCA Downtown, 347 Berry Street

USAPA Ambassadors – Ft. Wayne

USAPA Pickleball 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. In Fort Wayne, the local pickleball ambassador is Kenneth Flora, PHONE NUMBER: 260-416-0574.

Pickleball Court Construction Contractors: Ft. Wayne

Anyone looking for information about how to build a local sport court should contact Lawrence Building Corporation.

Ft. Wayne, Indiana Pickleball Clubs

You can find information about pickleball in Ft. Wayne through the  Ft. Wayne Pickleball Association 

Pickleball Tournaments Near Ft. Wayne

If you are out to compete, there are a couple of local options in Ft. Wayne:

Active Aging Week Pickleball Tournament
http://media.wix.com/ugd/48f57b_6f531b4292694ee198992474c639eb0c.pdf
USAPA Great Lakes Regional Pickleball Tournament

Pickleball Articles from Ft. Wayne 

The City of Ft. Wayne Parks and Recreation Department has a page that describes places to play and recent pickleball news.

 

5.0 Ranked Players Around Ft. Wayne

Josh Grubbs
Zachary Grubbs

Ft. Wayne Pickleball Related Youtube Videos

2014 Regional Great Lakes Pickleball Tournament

 

 

Local Pickleball Guide – “Pickleburg”, Virginia

Local Pickleball Guide – Pickleburg, Virginia

Pickleburg parade

OK, so, now that I have your attention, there is an official “Pickleburg” in Virginia – online! Go ahead, google it!  It’s the online home of pickleball in Williamsburg, Virginia!

Pickleburg players

Pickleball Courts Around Pickleburg

If you are in the Pickleburg “neighborhood”, these are some of the places you can go to play pickleball:

James City County Recreation Center – Mon-Fri 7am-11am
Mid County Park, James City County – Tu/Thur/Sat 8am-11am
Colonial Heritage – Mon-Fri 8am to Noon, Weds, 7:30 PM and Sun 8am **Private Community, No Public Usage
For a listing of public places to play, check this link

 If you are in the Newport News neighborhood, you can play at the following locations:
  • Brittingham Midtown Community Center, 9-12, Tuesdays and Fridays, 570 McLawhorne Drive
  • Denbigh Community Center, Thursdays 1-5, Fridays 1-4, 15198 Warwick Boulevard
 If you are at Virginia Beach,  outdoor courts available for friendly competition:
  • Bayville Farms Park 4132 First Court Road
  • Lynnhaven Park 1246 Bayne Drive
  • Woodstock Park 5709 Providence Road
 Indoor courts available at the following Recreation Centers in Virginia Beach (Check in advance):
  • Princess Anne Recreation Center
  • Bayside Recreation Center
  • Great Neck Recreation Center
  • Kempsville Recreation Center
  • Williams Farm Recreation Center
  • Bow Creek Recreation Center

USAPA Ambassadors – Pickleburg

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.  The USAPA Ambassadors in the Williamsburg-Pickleburg area are:
Jeff Anthony,  Williamsburg-James City – 757-593-7354pickleburg_hat
Mike Roberts, aka “Pickleball Mike”, Henrico-GLoucester Counties – 804-641-6816

 

Pickleball Court Construction Contractors: Pickleburg

If you are looking for information about installing or re-surfacing a sport court for pickleball, you will find Sport Court of Virginia – 103 Holly Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23185, 888-345-1309, to be a good resource.

Pickleball Tournaments Near Pickleburg 

Pickleball Court

There are a few Tournaments in Virginia.  Check them out:

Williamsburg Fall Classic Pickleball Tournament
USAPA Atlantic Regional Pickleball Tournament
Henrico Spring Pickleball Tournament
Hanover Spring Senior Tournament
Battle of the Paddle
Pickleball Tournament at the Center of the Universe

Latest Headlines from Pickleburg (AKA Williamsburg), VA

Williamsburg Parks and Rec Starting Pickleball Program this Winter

Pickleball Articles and Youtube Videos from Pickleburg 

HOT NEWS FLASH:

7/29/15 – The Williamsburg-James City County School Board unanimously approved a contract to replace (not resurface) the 6 tennis courts at Jamestown High School. This project will also include the addition of pickleball lines (black) for all 6 courts as well.  Work on the complete replacement of the tennis courts will begin soon and is projected to be completed by early October. Details on use policy/hours will be posted here as soon as available.

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Virginia Pickleball Tournament Rene vs Simon