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Locals win medals in inaugural pickleball tournament 

The Paso Robles Pickleball Club hosted an inaugural “805 Area Code” Pickleball Tournament this weekend. The event was held Saturday and Sunday at the Paso Robles Pickleball Courts at Centennial Park, 600 Nickerson Dr., Paso Robles. The contest was open to anyone in the 805 area code and central coast.

“Overall it was a huge success—based on the comments and emails I have received from participants,” said organizer Jack Hodges. “We will make our next one even better,” he said. “We started early at 6 a.m. and went late to 7 p.m. each day,” he said.

One hundred teams and 130 players played in 10 divisions. Many more attended to cheer on the pickleballers who came from as far away as Simi Valley and Santa Cruz.

Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in each division.

Medal-winning teams by area

  • Paso Robles, 10
  • Simi Valley, 10
  • Santa Cruz, 6
  • Pismo Beach, 2
  • Arroyo Grande, 2
  • Morro Bay, 1

Paso Robles area medal winners

  • Gold: Robert and Alan Belmonte (men’s competitive doubles)
  • Gold: Jack Hodges and Kathi Stanley (mixed competitive 60+)
  • Silver: Scott Brennan and Rick Goree (men’s recreational doubles)
  • Silver: Steve McAbee and Tina Baganz (mixed recreational doubles 50-59)
  • Silver: Fran Saponaro and Noel Foerst (mixed recreational doubles 60+)
  • Silver: Kathy Thomas and Ellen Sherman (women’s recreational doubles)
  • Bronze: Kelly Forrestal and Cathy Brady (women’s recreational doubles)
  • Bronze: Ed Cuevas and Larry Bradford (men’s recreational doubles)
  • Bronze: Melissa and Ron Edmunson (mixed recreational doubles)
  • Bronze: Kathi Stanley and Rita Tucker (women’s competitive doubles)
Click here for a complete results at the Paso Robles Pickleball Tournament

Hodges said a member of the Simi Valley Pickleball Club told him, “the talent of your players is very comparable to ours. We just have more of them and we have been around for many more years.”

“Thank you so much to the many, many volunteers who helped make this a success,” Hodges said. The event was staffed by volunteers from the local pickleball club. Paso Robles City Councilman John Hamon visited the tournament on Saturday and said he was really impressed with the turn out at the event.

For additional photos of the tournament, click here for the album by Rex Thornhill

Locals invited to play pickleball

Pickleball is played regularly in Paso Robles at Centennial Park on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings from 8:15 a.m to 11 a.m. Five courts are available and a $3 fee is charged to play. The courts are on the old roller rink that was refurbished this year into courts for pickleball. Newcomers are always welcomed.

Invented in 1965, pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong. It is one of the fastest growing sports in America. For nearly two years, Jack Hodges of Paso Robles has conducted a pickleball program at Centennial Park as a class.

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.