By Kathy Chouteau
Want to try your hand at the sport currently sweeping the nation? Pickleball—a mish-mash of tennis, badminton and Ping Pong—is coming to Richmond courtesy of a Love Your Block grant awarded to Richmond resident and U.S.A. Pickleball Association Ambassador Darlene Drapkin.
Anyone who wants to give the sport a go can attend free introductory Pickleball workshops Saturday, Nov. 21 and Saturday, Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Booker T. Anderson Park tennis courts, Carlson Blvd. & S. 47th St. The workshops are open to community members ages 16 and up.
According to organizers, Pickleball is easy to learn and offers great exercise, yet won’t wear you out. To play it, you use lightweight paddles and a low net. For the Richmond workshops, equipment will be provided. The best part? You get to call yourself a “pickler” if you partake in the sport.
“I see Pickleball as the perfect COVID-friendly activity right now,” said Drapkin. “You can still maintain your social distance.” Drapkin plans to host six additional workshops in 2021—including one in Spanish (dates are to be determined).
According to an article by The New York Times citing the 2019 Pickleball Participant Report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, more than 3.3. million players play the sport in the United States, designating it as one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S.
Want to learn more about Pickleball before the upcoming workshops? Check out this article. Space for the workshops is limited. To reserve your spot, email Darlene Drapkin at [email protected]. Questions? Call Drapkin at 510-459-7780.