Court Connections: March Community Impact

Mar 19, 2024

Court Connections: March Community Impact

Welcome to "Court Connections," where the spirit of unity and community shines bright through the shared experiences of pickleball players worldwide. In March, our theme revolves around the powerful concept of community impact, sponsored by none other than Selkirk Sport. Join us as we explore the stories of individuals and groups who are using pickleball as a vehicle for change, leaving a lasting impression on those around them. From fostering inclusivity to promoting health and wellness, these stories exemplify the profound impact that pickleball can have on individuals and communities alike.

After watching Anna Leigh Waters in person, I realized that the high school age kids in our community have little chance of being exposed to the wonderful game of pickleball. So, I started Pickleball In Education, Inc. a 501C3 nonprofit chartered to "expose all high school students in the Northern Kentucky region to pickleball"... In 2023 alone, we have introduced pickleball into the P/E programs at 28 high schools in our area. That's more than 21,000 kids who are now being taught the game as part of their high school curriculum! As we go into each school, we promote our sponsoring companies and provide parents with our Advocate codes and and resulting commissions that we have received have greatly assisted us in being able to complement donations to fund our operation. These relationships are invaluable to us. We encourage others around the country to replicate our program on a local basis and stand ready to assist toward that end.

- Don Seibert (Fort Thomas, KY)

I’ve hosted several non-profit pickleball tournaments in my home town of Simi Valley, CA. I love giving my time and my heart so my community can come together and play the sport we all love. I’ve raised up to $18,000 for non-profit foundations such as For the Need and The LucStrong Foundation as well as Pickleball United, a non profit pickleball club giving back to our community and promoting the growth of pickleball!

- Michelle Adams (Simi Valley, CA)

Got me off the couch and at 71 years old I am feeling good. I’ve gotten to meet many neighbors and people in my community! Even on a cruise ship in the Pacific Ocean!

- John Sigulinsky (Palmetto, FL)

I was introduced to the great sport of pickleball over 40 years ago, when my brother (a terrific athlete btw) came home and announced 'I was just playing this great game called pickleball on the rooftop of the Glendale (CA) YMCA! It wasn't long before he knocked out our basketball hoop, extended our cement slab and we had a pickleball court set up in our backyard. The sport came back into my life about 6 years ago when, while walking my dogs, I spotted a small group of people on one side of a tennis court. As I got closer, the unmistakeable POP, POP, POP of a pickleball game was happening. I soon made friends and helped grow that small Oak Park, CA. community into a vibrant PICKLEBALL COMMUNITY with over 200 people on our mailing list. But it doesn't stop there. One of my community park students informed me that the WESTLAKE ATHLETIC CLUB was putting in dedicated courts at their club. I made a mad dash to the club, met the GM (John Sutcliffe) and we became fast friends and was hired on the spot. We now have over 225 memberships at the club along with a waitlist. BUT WAIT...THERE'S MORE! The Sherwood Country Club, in Thousand Oaks, CA., invited me over for lessons and clinics and I have the great pleasure of being one of their pb pros. I am the luckiest man alive to be able to meet so many new friends and introduce this sport to so many.

- Miguel Enciso (Agoura Hills, CA)

This story is actually about my son, Benji Ling, who is a senior at Pensacola Catholic High School in Pensacola, FL. He started a pickleball club last year, which became the largest student run Club on campus - signing up over 10% of the 750 students. Pensacola Catholic also has a Morningstar Program -this program is dedicated to students with special needs; kids with developmental, physical, mental disabilities. Benji noticed that they did not have many outlets for physical activity and certainly didn’t have any extracurricular clubs. He took it upon himself to form an adaptive pickleball club for these students. He found a faculty sponsor, met with administrators and Morningstar faculty, organized other volunteers from his tennis team, and used his earnings from his job at the local country club to successfully launch this activity. He meets 1-2 times a week with up to 10-12 Morningstar students after school to teach and play pickleball. Students and parents seem to enjoy it, as does my son and his friends. Super proud of him and just wanted to share the story.

- Benjamin Ling (Pensacola, FL)

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March's Prize Package brought to you by Selkirk Sport