Sunday, August 1, 2010

Uncommon Sport Gains Popularity in Rochester,N.Y. Rochester Ambassador Lost 80 Pounds Playing Pickleball By: Sheba Clarke
It's a sport with a fun name that started in 1965. In the past year, Pickleball has become a big hit in the Rochester area.

It's not your typical tennis game, it's Pickelball. "People call it mini-tennis or maxi table tennis," said Dave Thomas, Rochester Ambassador of the USA Pickleball Association. "It's played on a court that 20 feet wide and 44 feet long. It's played exactly like tennis except the serving is underhand and you have to let the ball bounce twice," said Thomas.

Thomas promotes the sport as a Pickleball ambassador. As a bonus, he has lost 80 pounds playing.

The sport has become popular amongst Rochesterians in the past year. "A year an a half a go there were no courts in Rochester,” said Thomas. Now there are about 30 Pickleball courts in the area. "We've got courts now in the town of Henrietta, town of Webster, Parma, Riga and it's just growing everyday," said Thomas.

The game is easy to learn and players say it's a sport for everyone, young, old, and in between. "I find it's still an equal playing field when you come out here because I can lose to people that are 70," said Sheryl Rimore, who has been playing for two months. (Our two 80 years old Abbotsford players can also beat younger players :)

Nancy Lindquist started out by answering an ad in the paper. "I'm 54 years old and wanted to be out doing something. And I saw an ad in the Irondequoit Parks and Rec. that said, ‘Want to learn a new and exciting game?’ said Lindquist. "I mostly do it for the social and recreation and I try to stay fit."

The local Pickleball roster has gone from 10 to more than 80 players in the past year. With its first tournament this year, dubbed "Picklefest", players hope the sport keeps growing. "I think it has a corny name, but I think anybody should come out here and try it," said Rimore.

Hey, Grant, Abbotsford has also gone from 10 to more than 80 players in the past year. Let's have a "Picklefest" too !!!

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