Recreation

Popular pickleball coming to town of Port Royal

Pickleball is played by four players and, at 20 by 44 feet, a pickleball court resembles a miniature tennis court.
Pickleball is played by four players and, at 20 by 44 feet, a pickleball court resembles a miniature tennis court. jkarr@islandpacket.com

Pickleball is coming to the town of Port Royal, though the details are still being ironed out.

Lisa Redwine, sports and aquatics director at the Wardle Family YMCA, is helping lead an effort to have pickleball played inside The Shed, the event venue on Paris Avenue. The sport is something of a condensed version of tennis, played with large paddles and wiffle balls.

It is popular with retirees as an active sport easier on the body than some others.

The equipment is in place to start a program and The Shed recently received upgraded lighting. Redwine said she doesn't think the sport should be a YMCA program but that the Y might could handle operations the first year.

"I like the idea of it being 'Port Royal pickleball,'" Redwine told town council this month. "That has a better ring to it than YMCA pickleball."

Questions remain about whether to charge and how much. At the council meeting this month, Redwine said Sandra Scheper, an area tennis player, has agreed to lead the program and has visited programs in Sun City Hilton Head and on Fripp Island.

Whoever leads the program would be probably paid a stipend, the details of which are also yet to be worked out.

An introductory course and demonstration will be held before play begins. Players will be able to sign up for league play or free play.

The sport is growing, with nearly 1,000 members in southern Beaufort County pickeball clubs as of this past summer.

Sun City Pickleball Club president Rick Wright said the club is adding 50 to 75 new members each year. The Hilton Head club has grown to more than 150 in three years.

"Pickleball is such a great aerobic sport that is competitive and fun at the same time," Wright told The Island Packet in June. "It's just a great experience."

Follow reporter Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.

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