Pickle of a sport at YMCA

4 March 2020|Sport| Off Comments off on Pickle of a sport at YMCA|

THE YMCA of Hobart in Glenorchy has introduced a new, fun and social sport to its roster of programs – pickleball (a sport that is played with solid paddles and involves hitting a wiffle ball over a net).

Held at 11.15am on Thursdays and Fridays at the Glenorchy YMCA, manager and pickleball coordinator Sam Reibel said pickleball was a great game for everyone.

“We’ve had people with disabilities come and play it, the elderly play it and also young people,” he said.

“It’s a good sport that evens the playing field and gives everyone a chance to play against everyone.

“It’s a blend of tennis, table tennis, squash and badminton.

“It involves hand-eye coordination and it’s a good way to keep you moving, fit and get your steps in each day.

“It’s also got a great social side.”

Pickleball originated in America in the mid-1960s as a children’s backyard game and has become one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

It was brought to the YMCA of Hobart by Mark and Jenny Kitchener who discovered the sport while talking to some Canadians on a cruise.

“We came back to Tassie and enquired if there was anyone here that played it [pickleball] and there wasn’t,” Mr Kitchener said.

“My wife rang Melissa Carlton and they said they were looking at putting in pickleball courts at the Glenorchy YMCA, so we started up a social competition mid-last year every Thursday and Friday.”

While pickleball is relatively new in the state, Mr Kitchener encouraged people to come and play and keep growing the sport.

“We want to get it off the ground and get into a situation where we can establish a competition,” he said.

Tom Brereton has been playing pickleball for about three months and said it kept him busy and active.

“It’s about an hour to an hour-and-a-half sort of game – it’s very intense and it certainly gets the juices flowing,” he said.

“It’s about meeting new people, creating new friendships and having a bit of fun.”

Caption: From left, Margaret Kinsela, Joy Stoddart, Tom Brereton and Karen Meredith playing pickleball at the Glenorchy YMCA.

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