Richard Dudek Introduces Pickleball to Western Massachusetts

by elizaled on Jun 23, 2017

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We love to share a good story with you. Here is one, compliments of Richard Dudek, a pickleball mover and shaker in Agawam Massachusetts. First, you must know this: Agawam Massachusetts has the distinction of the lowest zip code in the US: 01001!  If you google Agawam Mass Pickleball, you will find the local news article featuring the grand opening of this lovely court.

Richard Dudek Agawam Mass Richard Dudek, 3rd from the left, Mayor Richard Cohen, center right, Parks and Recreation Director Christopher Sparks left center, and other community members celebrating the completion of a new dedicated pickleball court at Borgatti Field on Sept. 27. The Reminder Publications photo by Chris Goudreau

Richard Dudek is in love with the game of pickleball. He loves to teach people the fine art of the game. He played for 15 years in Florida and decided to find out how to get the game started in his home town. It took 3 years and a lot of work in the public sector and fundraising to the tune of $50,000 to get the Agawam outdoor court built.

Richard’s determination involved obtaining the thumbs-up from the local senior center, from Agawam Mayor Richard Cohen, the Parks and Rec, the Community Preservation Board, the City Council and the local court construction company. He loves how all his specifications were seriously considered: good dividers, 13 foot backdrops, 10-foot clearance area and a dividing wall. People thank Richard every day for his hard work in getting the first dedicated court built in the area.

There is nothing like it in a 40-mile radius from Agawam,” says Richard. The new Borgatti Field court is the “first true outdoor pickleball court in Western Massachusetts.” He has the go ahead to put in 2 more courts now and has the financial backing to do it. Way to go, Richard!

Folks in other nearby towns are frustrated that they have caught the pickleball “bug” but can only find dilapidated tennis courts for pickleball. Here’s hoping they find the same determination that Agawam has in Richard Dudek!