Pickleball’s popularity prompts Pasadena to plan to host the sport at the park

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Pasadena pickleball fans will likely rejoice when they learn that the city plans to provide a place to play the sport at Strawberry Park.

Pickleball is best described as a combination of ping pong, tennis, and badminton.

“It’s an easy sport to play,” Pasadena Parks Superintendent Jed Aplaca said. “(The court is) like half a tennis court and you have big ping pong paddles and a whistling ball. They are actually special paddles and balls, but you get the idea.

Respond to a sports phenomenon

The city is looking to expand access to pickleball courts, he said.

“So we’re working on the pickleball craze,” he said. “There are a lot of other parks and (recreation) agencies that I’ve been in touch with, and a lot of them have really big pickleball communities. We’ve been talking to them about how we can do this. progress.

“It’s definitely something we’re looking at expanding.”

Currently, pickleball is offered three times a week at two courts at the Pasadena Athletic League Gym, 2910 Southmore. Free play takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

“Some days 20 to 30 people come to play,” Aplaca said.

The number of Pasadena pickleball players is likely to increase soon, thanks to some improvements at Strawberry Park, 1104 Parkside.

“Once the tennis courts are finished, we’ll be lining up a few for pickleball as well,” Aplaca said.

However, there will be no lost tennis courts due to pickleball.

“If we take two tennis courts, we can make four pickleball courts,” Aplaca said. “They don’t have to be permanent pickleball courts, but the lines will be there. There will be a portable net that will roll out and when you are done playing you will put it away.

The Strawberry Park pickleball courts are expected to be ready in late summer or early fall, Aplaca said.

Pickleball player: “We are a family”

Pickleball player Gary Green, 80, of Deer Park, said he would consider trying the new courts at Strawberry Park once the weather cools.

Recently he was at the PAL gym waiting for a game. He has been playing pickleball for about 15 years.

“The (Pasadena YMCA) had a program where if you did 30 things in a month, you got a free t-shirt,” he said. “Pickleball was one of the things I tried and the first game I played I was hooked.”

Green said he likes pickleball to be a game for everyone.

“It’s a game that anyone can play and even if you don’t score a lot of points, you’re still there having fun and moving around and it’s good for your health,” he said. “My doctors told me it was good because it keeps me active.

“Another big part of (why I like it) is that we’re family. I have a shirt at home that says, ‘I don’t need therapy. I just need pickleball’ , and it’s true. If you have people you connect with, you’re in good shape.

John DeLapp is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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