Ribbon Cutting for the new pickleball courts in Hamilton Township. Photo by Michael A. Sabo
Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the nation, and that was evident by the turnout as Hamilton Township unveiled 8 new pickleball courts at Veterans Park.
Pickleboard is a fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong all in one and is played on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified tennis net.
It is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes either as doubles or singles like tennis.
Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. Three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum — whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities — are credited for creating game. Pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the US and Canada. The game is growing internationally as well, with many European and Asian countries adding courts.
In January before the pandemic, Kathy Fitzgerald the Hamilton Township Director of Health, Recreation, Senior & Veteran Services was contacted by local pickelball players who advocated for new pickleball courts in the township.
After some research, and with the support of Mayor Jeff Martin and approval of the funding by the Hamilton council, the township went to work to construct 8 new state of the art courts.
Fortunately for the area pickleboard community, they had an expert among them. Lloyd Jacobs, an avid pickleball player, a professional engineer and the former Director of Engineering and Planning for Hamilton Township was willing to volunteer his time and expertise to see this project from beginning to end,
“We cannot thank Lloyd enough for his dedication, time, expertise, and passion for single-handedly making this project a reality” explained Fitzgerald.
Mayor Jeff Martin who was in attendance for the opening explained that during the pandemic, people have looked for outdoor activities and have increased use of the parks and was happy to support this project especially as the sport has grown in popularity.
Martin in is remarks added “People not just from Hamilton are here today, but people from all around the area will now travel to Hamilton because it is home to the most pickleball courts in Mercer County. That’s good for our town, our local economy, when you come here to play please support our local business, our local restaurants and our community.”
For more information about pickleball visit – https://usapickleball.org/