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Get Physical With Pickleball

Fast Growing Sport Combines Fun and Fitness for a Healthy Low-Impact Workout

In recent years, there has been an explosion of new personal fitness and exercise options. From boutique gyms to workout boot camps, there are plenty of wellness choices available.

One of the fastest-growing group workout activities is pickleball. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, the sport grew by over 39% from 2019 through 2021.

Pickleball originated in 1965 on Bainbridge Island located near Seattle, Washington. It was created by a trio of fathers who wanted to keep their kids entertained during the summer doldrums. Since its inception, pickleball has evolved into a popular sport for players of all ages and skill levels, with leagues available worldwide.

At its core, pickleball is a fusion of tennis, badminton, paddle ball and ping-pong. It is played on badminton-sized courts (either indoors or outdoors) using paddles and perforated plastic balls. Like tennis, the game can be played by either two or four players, with pickleball equipment readily available at area sporting goods retailers.

“Pickleball is both fun and easy to play,” says Sumner County Pickleball Ambassador Chris Taylor. “Many people find that they are addicted to the game after playing the first time.”

Pickleball is played at public and private locations across Sumner County, including Gallatin, Hendersonville and Goodlettsville. Some players choose to play in small individual groups, but most join a league.

“Our local Gallatin Mixed League has over 190 members, and the Gallatin Pickleball Facebook page has more than 500 followers,” says Taylor. “As more people hear about the sport, it will only continue to grow.”

Pickleball’s rapid rise has led to an increasing demand for additional courts to handle the growing number of active players. Currently, league and individual play take place in Gallatin on six new courts that opened in Municipal Park last July. In addition, indoor play is also available at the Gallatin Civic Center.

In Hendersonville, pickleball is played on Memorial Park’s tennis courts 9 – 12, but only during warm weather. Officially scheduled play is currently suspended in January and February but will resume in March. In addition, the city is currently planning to construct several new pickleball courts in Memorial Park in 2023.

“We are so excited to get to work on bringing dedicated pickleball courts to Hendersonville,” says Hendersonville Parks & Recreation Director Andy Gilley. “It’s a great phenomenon across the country, and just like any other sport we’ve added, we want to do it the right way. We are currently in the planning phase, but we hope to get started building our new courts very soon.”

To find out how to get started playing pickleball, contact Hendersonville Parks at (615) 822-3898 or Gallatin Parks at (615) 451-5911.