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USAPA MID-SOUTH REGION
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2018 PIONEER AWARD WINNER - CHUCK FLANAGAN
Mid-South Region Newsletter
We have two newly appointed ambassadors to introduce: Amy Yarbrough (San Marcos, TX) and George Boutwell (Winnsboro, LA).
Amy has been playing a little over a year. She has helped friends learn about PB and teaching them the game. Coming from a physical education, coaching, and training background, she is a strong advocate of wellness and sport. She thinks many people can benefit from pickleball and is so contagious that she enjoys promoting this sport in any venue from the young to the older. Amy wants to contact local schools to see about introducing PB in to the physical education departments. She wishes to set up clinics to promote PB to new players and to the other group of players who are interested in tournament play. Amy also wants to work with the city of San Marcos to create more venues to play PB.
George has been playing almost three years. He has assisted with a demo for a high school baseball team and has taught the game to several newbies in his area. He has helped ref a small tournament. George wants to get the game to schools in his area, as well. (I was asked to come to Winnsboro to help get the game started, and George was there). He has been one of the main sources for the growth of PB in this community since then. Like many, he LOVES this game.
Susan Henderson (Mesquite, TX) has been approved for a $250 USAPA Community Grant. Here’s how: We decided to begin pickleball open play within our own church congregation on October 5, 2017 because several people played and there was interest from others who wanted to learn. We borrowed 3 nets from North Texas Ambassador, Charlotte Rivera, taped courts and one of our members loaned us a basket of pickleballs. For the past four months, we have met each Thursday night at 6:00 in the youth center/gym and the interest has grown. We have two game courts and one training court between them where we teach new people how to play each week. There are approximately 30 who have attended. At first, it was mainly church members, then friends of church members began coming. We decided to list the location on Places 2 Play at the end of January and open the site up to the community since there is no other site to play pickleball in Mesquite. We have a variety of ages and skill levels, but perhaps our most rewarding accomplishments have been how much some of our seniors have enjoyed coming. Our oldest player is 82 and she loves the chance to be active and get out of her house. Another player is recovering from and stroke and tells us how much pickleball helps his eye/hand coordination and socialization. We would like to have our own nets and return the borrowed ones to Charlotte, so we decided to apply for the grant. (Way To Go, Susan. I encourage all of you to take advantage of this program).
David Lasater (Russellville, AR) I've just got to share my giddiness. We're breaking out up here. Been working Clarksville (30 miles west of Russellville) for a year, manager not really into it. So we got the churches playing in that town. She (manager) cracked the door last week and 20 players flooded in. LOL Delicate - giving the manager time to feel ownership before I get her to list it as a place to play. This is a two full court size rec center. Big win.
I've made contact with Ozark (30 miles west of Clarksville). Brand new rec center. Going up there when I get off crutches.
Marshall is full throttle in Ft Smith (30 miles west of Ozark). Kate Williams and I are meeting him to give an introduction to a Ft Smith Tennis Club.
Siloam Springs has started up. And I've found little towns out in the Ozark Mtns playing.
Getting kinda fun! Haha (Keep having that FUN, David).
Christie Borne (Hot Springs Village, AR) sends the following: Met these six Grand Rapids Pickleball Club chicas for a weeks’ worth of pickleball lessons, a little karaoke, sun and fun in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico in January. Another Grand Rapids pickleball chica, Phyllis Wordhouse, who lives in Mexico 7 months a year is the ambassador at large. Through her realtor, she found this tennis court on the property of a 6 million home up for sale. With a group of other pickleball players, they taped lines and patched the holes for us and other locals who could give pickleball a try.
Although I only conducted one-two hour clinic here with the chicas, Phyllis supplied us with a laundry basket of balls and Wilson slap down lines after we found a tennis court at the Vidanta Rivera Resort where we were staying. We began building on the lesson plans I created from day one which included dinks and 3rd shots drops, to lobbing from the non-volley line and learning how to recover their own lobs. (photo next page)
Chuck Flanagan (Sun City, TX) sent this pic (below) of a ref clinic in Grapevine, TX in preparation for the USAPA Mid-South tournament. Ambassadors Bob & Irene Romagosa (Denton, TX) conducted the clinic for the 47 participants. Lunch was served before the clinic.
George Boutwell (Winnsboro, LA) notes that the great thing about pickleball is anywhere you travel you can find places to play.
Ann B McIntyre and Rudy are doing just that.
Today they spent the morning at the Bobby Riggs Tennis Club in Encinitas, California. Ann said they had enough players to keep 4 courts going steady and played at least 10 games. Probably picked up some pointers and I’m sure they made some new friends in the process. (Ann & Rudy were also central to PB getting started in Winnsboro).
Vicky Noakes (OK City, OK) shares…
This letter was from Jenny Marcos a tennis pro from Oklahoma City that took pickleball to the Philippines. Jenny is the one in the back with the blue shirt.
I wouuld like to thank you all for your generosity. It was an amazing journey to the Philippines!
Introducing pickleball to 4 different cities made a great impact. The trip to Vigan City, Baguio City, Pangasinan, & Valenzuela created so much interest.
By January 2019, Baguio City sports coordinators & myself will hold a conference/clinic. All the school system will be invited to this conference.
Thank you so much to everyone who donated all the pickleball racquets, balls, nets, trophies, & medals. The kids, adults, & the clubs, considered every single piece of equipment as gold! They are all so grateful!
The OKC PB Club helped furnish many of the donations.
Gordon Erwin (Copperas Cove, TX) Shares that on the Quality of Life Board for the city and at the last meeting we reviewed the 2019-2023 Capital Improvement Plan. In it was $170,000 to resurface the tennis court at the golf course and creating an outdoor sitting area for eating, entertaining, etc. On the tennis courts will also be pickleball courts. I am pleased that they finally understood how much pickleball is growing.
Dan Dyer (Amarillo, TX) tells us that the City of Amarillo opened a remodeled Activity Center with 2 indoor PB courts in a gym. He began instruction there this month.
Bobby Howard (Tyler, TX) announces that 1st Tyler PBTournament will be held March 24th. For info, contact Chris Singer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As you might notice, this letter is a bit early. Since I do this on my desktop, and we are leaving for Grapevine the day you receive this, it was my only choice re when to send.
Thanks for the great pics for this letter. I have to admit, some others that were sent, I could not rotate. By the way, don’t forget that we now have a Facebook page strictly for Mid-South Ambassadors. If you have not been invited, please contact Barb Patterson, and she will take care of you.
Feel free to share any info in this letter with your area players. In fact, you are welcome to forward it to them.
I hope that those of you attending the USAPA Mid-South Regional will have a great time. Please understand that we will be having long days and nights. We also will be needing you to help ref. If you are not experienced, we can have an experienced ref help you. Please review the recent rule changes which should help make reffing easier for you. I hope to see you soon.