In celebration of National Pickleball Day, the City of Lenoir Parks & Recreation Department opened four, new outdoor pickleball courts today at Mulberry Recreation Center.
In 2018, staff opened three indoor pickleball courts at Mulberry Recreation. Due to local demand the growing popularity of the sport, Parks & recreation Director Kenny Story recently installed four, new outdoor courts.
"Pickleball is the number one fastest growing sport in the nation," Director Story said. "We do our best to provide poplar recreation opportunities, and we have a lot of local residents who play here almost every day."
The outdoor courts will be open from dawn to dusk. The indoor court schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. All courts are first-come, first-serve.
Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It can be played indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net. Pickleball is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes, and can be played as doubles or singles. Click the following link to read the history of pickleball, https://usapickleball.org/what-is-pickleball/history-of-the-game/.
Monday morning, there were 17 players, young and old, enjoying the new courts at Mulberry Recreation. There was even couple from New York who were traveling for vacation and found out Lenoir had pickleball courts via the City website.
Local resident Cam Riddle said pickleball is a game that everyone can play, and those who do always have a good time. Mrs. Riddle said the local pickleball group really appreciates the new courts and the option to play indoors and outdoors.
"Give our thanks to Kenny Story, Ralph Prestwood, Joe Gibbons, to the people here who put the pickleball group together, and to all the City Council that voted for it," Mrs. Riddle said. "We appreciate it."
To play pickleball, all you need is a paddle, a partner, and a few pickleballs. The rules are online at https://usapickleball.org/what-is-pickleball/official-rules/rules-summary/.
National Pickleball Day, Aug. 8, 2022
National Pickleball Day is on August 8. Do you know that it has been 57 years since Pickleball was invented? The game combines traditional lawn tennis, ping-pong, a.k.a. table tennis, and badminton. The game is played with ping-pong rackets on a badminton court with a tennis net. Similar to tennis, but is less challenging, it’s suitable for people of all ages. National Pickleball Day was created by pickleball instructor Deirdre Morris in 2021 to encourage people to learn to play pickleball.
Read more about National Pickleball Day at https://nationaltoday.com/national-pickleball-day/.
About Mulberry Recreation Center
In addition to pickleball, Mulberry Recreation Center offers Three lighted baseball and softball fields, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, a game room, kitchen, gymnasium, playground, picnic shelters and tables, restrooms, skate park, tee-ball fields, and six, lighted tennis courts.
The new, outdoor pickleball courts are located behind the recreation center where the old tennis courts were.
One local family brought out three generations to play pickleball today, a grandmother, mother, and sons.
Couples play doubles pickleball on one of the new courts.
This group of local pickleball players included two visitors from New York.
The new, outdoor pickleball courts are located behind and to the left of the recreation center.