Lakesiders taking up Pickleball
The game with the funny name is catching on at Halcyon Lakeside.
Around 30 homeowners have jumped on the community’s purpose-built courts to play pickleball, which blends elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.
Among the enthusiastic pickleball cohort is Dott Muller who enjoys the new sport so much that she coordinates and coaches pickleball at Lakeside, a role she shares with fellow homeowner Christine Dixon.
“It’s something that could take off here and it’s certainly a game that everybody can play,” Dott said.
“The beauty of it is that it’s played a badminton-size court and you don’t have to run as much as you do with tennis.
“You also don’t get that jarring on the body that you get with tennis.”
“Everybody here has fun and we all talk and laugh a lot because we’re learning.”
Played with paddles and a perforated plastic ball, pickleball is huge in the United States and is gaining traction Down Under.
Halcyon Glades is home to the first purpose-built outdoor pickleball court in Australia, Halcyon Lakeside has two courts, and Halcyon Greens at Pimpama will have eight.
“It’s a new sport and we’re right at the ground level here,” Dott said.
“I didn’t think, at this age, that I’d be at the ground level of any sport.
“Everybody can play it’s just a matter of having a go at it.
“It can be played fast or at a slower pace.”
In May, Dott and Christine began pickleball coaching for Lakeside homeowners wishing to learn the basics of the sport.
Both were among 30 homeowners to receive six weeks of coaching from former US coaches Keith and Sharon Bing in sessions organised by Halcyon earlier in the year.
Halcyon Lakeside now offers mens, ladies and mixed pickleball evening sessions for those wanting to improve their skills and technique.
Dott and Christine hope to start a formal competition, including matches against teams from the other pickleball-playing Halcyon communities.
What is pickleball and where did it come from?
Pickleball started in the United States in 1965 at the Washington (state) home of politician Joel Pritchard when he and two friends returned from golf to find their families bored one Saturday afternoon. They attempted to set up badminton but unable to find a shuttlecock, they improvised with a wiffle ball, lowered the next and fabricated paddles from plywood.
Two or four players use solid wood or composite paddles to hit a perforated wiffle ball over the net on a badminton-size court.