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Pickleball club offering free lessons Thursdays at Centennial Park 

Players enjoying Pickleball at Centennial Park. Photo courtesy Paso Robles Pickleball Club.

 

–The Paso Robles Pickleball Club is offering free lessons on Thursdays at 11 a.m. at Centennial Park in Paso Robles. Pickleball is an easy-to-learn paddle sport with simple rules. It’s a great game for all ages and skill levels. This fastest growing sport in America combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong and can develop into a fast-paced competitive game for experienced players.

Popular in the U.S. and Canada, pickleball is also gaining popularity in European and Asian countries. The USA Pickleball Association reports that the number of players increased 20-percent in 2020 despite the pandemic. The game has been around since 1965 when three dads on Bainbridge Island, Washington, invented it to keep their kids occupied over the summer.

Locally, Larry Werner, Pickleball Ambassador for the Paso Robles club says, “Playing pickleball is a great way to meet new people. We are seeing more and more players. There are often 15 to 20 players waiting to play.”

The Paso Robles club just finished resurfacing the pickleball courts at Centennial Park. “A lot of people don’t know, but our club, which is a private club, not only maintains our courts but contributes one-third of our income to the city,” Werner said. The club paid close to $14,000 for the resurfacing, financed by the club’s membership and tournament fees. The City of Paso Robles recently requested proposals to resurface the tennis courts at Centennial Park. Werner said the bid includes ghost stripping one of the newly surfaced tennis courts into four pickleball courts, increasing the total pickleball courts at Centennial Park to nine. The five current courts were once a roller hockey arena.

Overhead image of resurfaced courts at Centennial Park.

Having four more courts “will really help,” said Werner, who expects little conflict with tennis players. “There are rarely any tennis players during our hours of play between 7:30 and 11 a.m.” The club plays Monday through Saturday mornings.

Started in 2010, the Paso Robles Pickleball Club has over 100 members today. “So far we’ve averaged 730 players a month since January. Attendance seems to be picking up, we had 924 players in May,” said Werner.

Club membership is not required to play at Centennial Park. Non-members sign a waiver and pay a $3 fee. The waiver is available on the club website. Membership is $10 per month, paid every six months at the Paso Robles Recreation Department.

The club offers free introductory lessons every Thursday at 11 a.m. by appointment. To make an appointment visit the website, call (805) 441-6841, or email bob1037@me.com. Paddles, balls, and partners are provided. Wear good tennis shoes.

Upcoming events include two days of three-hour clinics by Catherine Parenteau and Athena Trouillot on July 21-22 and the Wine Country Classic Pickleball Tournament for Oct 1-3.

  • Gold medalist Catherine Parenteau and pickleball professional Athena Trouillot are leading the two-day clinic, with two sessions on Mon, July 21 and one on Tue. Fee is $150 per player. Click here to register for the clinic.
  • Registration for the Wine Country Classic Pickleball Tournament starts July 1 on pickleballtournaments.com.

 

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.