Local YMCA Branches Are All in on Pickleball

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The YMCA is All in on Pickleball

The game of pickleball has become extremely popular in physical education classes in Montgomery County Public Schools. The rising popularity of the sport has led to several pickleball courts popping up across the county. Now, the YMCA is getting in on it, starting with both MoCo locations (Bethesda and Silver Spring).

Alex Tsironis, the physical education content specialist at North Bethesda Middle School (also the founder of The MoCoShow) told us that he was first introduced to the sport 4 years ago when he started teaching it. It quickly became one of the most popular activities in all P.E. classes at the school.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington will launch what will become one of the region’s largest Pickleball programs. The Y’s Pickleball program will open with more than 20 courts throughout the region this year and twice that number by the end of 2022. Pickleball will be offered at most Y locations beginning with YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase, YMCA Silver Spring and YMCA Arlington Tennis and Squash Center.  Participants can look forward to free open houses, demonstrations, tournaments, clinics and opportunities for volunteers to serve as league ambassadors.  An open house will take place on Thursday, May 20th at YMCA Silver Spring from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

Pickleball was created in 1965 by Congressman Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum and Bill Bell during a summer vacation.  It was an attempt to entertain bored children using whatever equipment came to hand.  Now, decades later the sport has grown across the nation.  Pickleball combines elements of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong.  It can be played using relatively inexpensive paddles and plastic balls, on existing tennis courts (although the courts are outlined for Pickleball, which are badminton-sized.)

“The response to Pickleball has been overwhelming by our membership.   Pickleball is an inclusive and social sport that allows players to get outdoors, have fun and work out.   We are proud that the Y will have a dedicated spaces that allows for individuals to meet other people and families to connect more.  Pickleball is the perfect pandemic sport since people can still socially distance and get great exercise both outdoors and indoors at an extremely affordable price” said Pamela Curran, Executive Vice President and COO for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.

According to USA Pickleball, the sport is now played by over 3.3 million people.   The Y’s Pickleball monthly calendar of events will be released in a few weeks and more information will be available atwww.ymcadc.org.

Featured photo courtesy of the City of Rockville.

 

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