Pick up a paddle and play Pickleball

Tired of tennis? Bored of badminton? Then why not pick up a paddle and try a game of Pickleball.

The sweet game with the sour name is a flourishing and fast-growing sport played by local residents, who are inviting others to join in.

Pickleball has been played in the USA since the mid-1960s and is popular in the retirement communities of Florida but is only now starting to break through in the UK and the wider world. Burnley Leisure was one of the first locations to introduce the paddle sport in 2015, thanks to its former employee Elaine Shallcross, who has won Pickleball tournaments all over the world.

It is a sport in which two or four players use solid paddles, like large table tennis bats, to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. Played on a badminton court, the net and rules are similar to tennis but the sport prides itself on being much easier to pick up. The reduced speed of the ball and smaller size of the court makes it the ideal game for older people.

Linda Searle, operational manager for Up and Active programme, said: “It’s a great sport for men and women of all ages, especially those wishing to keep active in later life.

“The game does not involve as much running around the court as other racquet ball games and, therefore, it is less stressful on the joints. Pickleball is surprisingly skillful – it doesn’t have to be a power game – and I’d encourage everyone to come and have a game.”

For further information, please contact St Peter’s Leisure centre 01282 664444.

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