Court Connections: Making a Difference - The Power of Pickleball in Our Community

Mar 5, 2024

Court Connections: Making a Difference - The Power of Pickleball in Our Community

My name is Pat Hogan, and I am a proud member of the Lake Oswego Pickleball Club. Today, I am thrilled to share with you the incredible journey of our club as we embarked on a mission to make a lasting impact on our community—one pickleball session at a time.

Our story begins with a simple desire to extend our reach beyond the pickleball community and touch the lives of those in need. Guided by this principle, we sought out opportunities to partner with organizations that shared our vision of creating positive change. Through the connections of one of our esteemed members, Beth Corey, we were introduced to the Down Syndrome Network of Oregon—a partnership that would soon blossom into something truly extraordinary.

In collaboration with the Down Syndrome Network of Oregon and their dedicated director, Tiffany Morgan, we identified a pressing need within their community: providing meaningful opportunities for young adults with Down syndrome. With this in mind, we organized our first pickleball session at a local park in late July 2023. Supported by the unwavering dedication of our club members, the event was a resounding success, bringing together 16 participants for a day of fun, friendship, and pickleball.

But our commitment to making a difference didn't end there. Recognizing the potential for long-term impact, we forged an ongoing partnership with the Down Syndrome Network of Oregon, seeking out new venues and opportunities to continue our mission. With the generous support of Rolling Hills Community Church and the leadership of staff member Ray Howell, we found a perfect indoor venue for our future sessions—a space that would become the heart of our community outreach efforts.

Since then, we have hosted multiple sessions, each one filled with laughter, camaraderie, and the joy of seeing participants develop their pickleball skills. What began as a local initiative has quickly grown into a movement, with other pickleball clubs expressing interest in replicating our model and expanding the reach of our program. This momentum is growing and our upcoming sessions in April and June are already completely filled!

As we look to the future, our vision is clear: to create a national network of pickleball clubs dedicated to adding to the lives of young adults with Down Syndrome. With each session, we are reminded of the profound impact we can have when we come together as a community, united by a shared passion for pickleball and a commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

Together, we are proving that the power of pickleball extends far beyond the court—and that by embracing the spirit of love and compassion we can create a better and brighter future for all.

With gratitude,

Pat Hogan
Lake Oswego Pickleball Club

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Court Connections in March sponsored by Selkirk Sport