Pickleball Poised to Invade Spain

Spanish Pickleball Association

Spanish Pickleball Association Launches

Pickleball is taking over the world, one country at a time.  Pickleball was introduced in Spain several years ago.  Now a core group of Spanish pickleball players have formed the Spanish Pickleball Association, also known as Pickleball Spain.   Parts of  Spain are similar in climate and culture to Florida and Arizona. Many Europeans visit Spain for holidays and it’s a popular retirement area. Perfect breeding ground for growing pickleball enthusiasts.

Pickleball Spain’s mission isn’t limited just to the country of Spain. They intend to bring pickleball to all of Europe.! Here’s their stated mission statement:

To introduce, promote and support the sport of pickleball to people of all ages and abilities throughout Spain and Europe.

Pickleball in Spain

Playing Pickleball in Spain

This is really big pickleball news for several reasons.  First, the Spanish Association has established an ambassador program similar to the ambassador program used by the USA Pickleball Association. The USA Pickleball Association’s ambassador program has been extremely successful in growing pickleball into America’s fastest growing sport. Now the same system will be used in Spain, and Europe, to grow pickleball there. It will work as well in Europe as it has in America. Second, pickleball must become an international sport in order to become an Olympic event.  We need more countries developing elite pickleball athletes.  (I’m serious about this Olympics thing.)

Michael Hess

Michael Hess, President of Pickleball Spain

Third, Pickleball Spain is headed up by it’s president Michael Hess. Michael is an American who has lived in Spain many years and teaches sports marketing and management at a Spanish university.  Michael is serious about pickleball and committed to having it take root in Europe. He will be successful. Michael led a huge research project with the USA Pickleball Association in 2011-12 to study why people were playing pickleball, their competitive behavior, and their view of pickleball. Michael has the passion, commitment and leadership skills to get pickleball going in Spain.

Pickleball is just so fun to watch and to play. It sells itself. Watch and you’ll see it spread. What country will be next? I’m betting France; the south of France along the Mediterranean Coast.  ‘Au revoir!  Anna

Pickleball in the Philippines

PickleballCentral loves all its customers, especially our new walk-in customers.

Philippines pickleball court

Look familiar?

Patrick Cantor walked in one Saturday afternoon and tried out some paddles on our new indoor pickleball court.  He purchased a Magnum Graphite Stealth paddle and came back a couple of weeks later with his wife.  She selected a pink Graphite Z5 paddle.  The third time Patrick visited he bought a PickleNet Portable Net System and said he would be taking it with him on his next trip to the Philippines!

Here’s Patrick’s Pickleball to the Philippines story:

I came to the U. S. as a 5-year-old when my parents immigrated to the United States on work visas.  I grew up in the Renton area and started playing pickleball around the time I finished high school.  After I started college, I played at the University of Washington.

After 20 years, I’m playing pickleball again.  I’ve found Pickleball to be an “addictive” sport, in the good habit-forming sense of the word.  It is a way to stay in shape and be social with friends who also like to play. Just before I went on vacation, I bought 4 wooden paddles and a badminton net to use in the Philippines.   Before I introduced Pickleball in the Philippines, no one knew about it.  When I showed my friends how to play, they picked it up pretty fast.   Here are a couple of pictures that show the court being set up. 

I travel to the Philippines every year.  The net system I bought this month will go with me on my next trip. 

Philippines pickleball court

Painting lines for the first pickleball court in the Philippines.

Thanks, Patrick, for sharing your story with us.  We love hearing about how pickleball is taking over the world.   😉 Anna

Patrick Cantor

Attorney Patrick Cantor is bringing pickleball to the Philippines.