October Kitchen August 2019

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Why You Should Play Pickleball

You’ve probably heard of pickleball, especially given its rising popularity in the United States and Canada, but you may be wondering what the big deal is about this relatively new fad. Pickleball is an awesome, low-impact sport that people of all ages can enjoy. It’s great exercise and great fun and it’s the perfect game for family get-togethers. Pickleball originated on Bainbridge Island, Washington, in 1965. It was the creation of three fathers — Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum — who needed to come up with something to keep the little ones entertained and out of their hair. Soon, however, it became popular among the adults and they ended up spending more time on the court than their children. “Frankly,” McCallum says, “the kids got pushed out.” Since its early days, pickleball has transformed from an ad- hoc game to a full-fledged sport, complete with official rules, equipment and leagues. Despite the more formal structure in place today, pickleball is incredibly easy to pick up and play. Investing in some paddles and balls won’t cost more than THE INCREDIBLE RISE OF PICKLEBALL A Sport for All Ages Becomes a Craze Among Older Adults

$100 and you can easily convert a tennis or badminton court for pickleball. One of the appeals of pickleball for older adults is that it is not excessively strenuous. It also doesn’t have the steep learning curve and high barrier to entry that sports like tennis or golf do. Due to the nature of a pickleball, which contains strategically placed holes similar to those of a whiffle ball, the game is much more about finesse than pure power or athleticism. While you can definitely hone your skills with practice, you’ll start having fun from day one. In addition to being a fun form of exercise, pickleball also offers older adults the chance to socialize with their peers. Leagues often lead to long-term friendships. Courts are small and each game consists of only four players, making it easy to engage in some casual conversation or playful, competitive banter between points.

If you’ve never picked up a paddle, consider joining a league or buying a set for your next family outing. You can introduce your grandkids to a fun new sport — and then school them for the bulk of an afternoon.

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