By Kathy Chouteau
Opportunities abound for playing pickleball in Richmond, thanks to new offerings from the City of Richmond and the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD).
Adults age 18 and older can play the fast-growing sport at Richmond’s Community Services Department/Recreation’s “Adult Drop-in Pickleball” sessions now through the end of May indoors at the Richmond Recreation Center.
There are two sessions to pick from at the Richmond Recreation Center: Now through May 30, adults can drop in for some pickleball games Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. As another option, people can play pickleball now through May 26 on Fridays at the same location from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is a $3 fee per visit.
East Bay Pickleball Association (EBPA) founder and U.S.A. Pickleball Ambassador Darlene Drapkin said that “60 picklers showed up for the inaugural indoor pickleball” session with the City. “Tetteh Kisseh and Maurice Range are now looking to add additional pickleball, day and night.”
The “Youth Pickleball Program” has also come to school-age children at Stege, Bayview, Grant and Tara Hills Elementarys as part of the weekday, outdoor after-school programming from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Inquire about it at your respective school. The program, which signifies the sport’s widespread popularity, was launched by the West Contra Costa County School District (WCCUSD) and the EDFund, in collaboration with EBPA.
Drapkin also highlighted outdoor opportunities for adult community members to play pickleball on Fridays, from 3 p.m. until dark, and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Booker T. Anderson Jr. Park. She said that it’s “the first permanent pickleball destination in West Contra Costa County.” Drapkin said the courts will be resurfaced when weather permits thanks to an Environmental and Community Investment Agreement (ECIA) grant from Chevron Richmond.
The Richmond Recreation Complex is located at 3230 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond, while Booker T. Anderson Jr. Park is at Carlson Blvd. & South 47th St. in Richmond. Questions about any of the pickleball happenings in Richmond can be referred to [email protected].