The fastest growing sport in the United States is coming to Charlotte


CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – What looks like a combination of ping pong, tennis and badminton is now the fastest growing sport in the United States

“When the pandemic hit I wanted to do something to get myself out of the house, that’s what got me into pickleball,” said amateur pickleball athlete Carol Wright.

Wright is one of hundreds of amateur players who participate in the PPA Tour in South Charlotte.

This is the tour’s first-ever appearance in North Carolina, and it took some work to convert the tennis facility at the Lifetime Athletic fitness center into a pickleball arena.

“I arrived Sunday night, painted the courts, brought in a stage, seats, a pickleball store, then converted all the tennis courts to pickleball courts,” PPA Tour President Bryce Morgan said.

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Although there is no official sports space in Charlotte, there will be soon. A new pickleball and entertainment center is due to open in the Lower South End early next year.

“The sport is only growing, it’s getting crazy, so we love these new developments that are popping up and having hard pickleball courts where these amateur tournaments can take place, it’s just a fun time for everyone,” Morgan said. .

Alongside the fans are some of the most impressive pickleball athletes in the world.

“I love competition, I like being loud on the court. You’re always a bit nervous because you want to win,” said professional athlete Yana Grechkina. “At first, pickleball was a weird sport for me. , as I am a former tennis player, but when the COVID arrived, there was really nothing to do. Our tennis season has been cancelled. School was online, everyone was at home. When pickleball came around my friend started dragging me to play more and more and I got hooked.

The tournament will end on Sunday, May 8.


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