I want to welcome our most recent additions to our ambassador family: Bruce Davie (Cherokee Village, AR), Donna McLean (Yukon, OK), Jeri Doane, (Edmond, OK), Gene Click, (Warr Acres, OK), Hal Clifford (OK City, OK), and Nicholas Whitson (Norman, OK).
(Do you kind of get the feeling that OK PB is exploding?)
Bruce has been playing over two years and has given many lessons to beginners. He has served as a tournament director and referee. He was the main force in starting the Village Pickleball People (Club) and also has a Facebook page for the group. Bruce wants to involve fellow ambassadors David Laseter and David Redding for a clinic.
Donna has been playing right at four years. She has assisted in getting round robin play started locally and helped city employees is setting up play at the Community Center. Donna helped with three demos, and of course, helped at the OK State Fair. She has also reffed at several tournaments. She wants to expand the interest of PB in the western suburbs of OK City, as well as to find new venues for possible play.
Jeri has been playing two years and has helped several times with teaching beginners. She enjoys seeing that group picking up the game and how much fun they have. As a former educator, she values learning as much as possible about PB and then passing it on to others.
Gene has been playing three years. He has helped teach youth of a local church as well as another group that attended a sports camp. He also helped at the OK State Fair. Gene has refereed in every tournament he has played in and will be directing his first event in November… The PC Smash. Being a member of the very large OK City PB Club, Gene wants to be available to help with items already in motion or stalled due to a lack of help.
Hal has been playing over three years and helped man a demo court at the OK State fair last year and is scheduled to do it this month as well. Being a life-long resident of OK City, Hal has many contacts in both the athletic and business areas. He is also a 34-year Board Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and wants to introduce PB into schools and churches through that organization.
Nicholas began playing earlier this year. He also helped with the demo at the OK State Fair. He is a ‘court monitor’ for his club’s Wed. night open play. He notes that it is very beneficial to use social media to gain attention and attract new players to those ‘open play evenings’. Over the last month, he has seen at least 20 new players who have never played PB and all of them returned the following week to play again. Nicholas has contacted the local Parks & Rec Dept. to provide more evening play and has asked the city to consider dedicating some under-used tennis courts to PB.
Linda Hiehuus (Bellville, TX) was recently approved for a USAPA Grant. Here is how: We would like to offer another sport/activity for the children who attend/are members of The Boys and Girls Club who do not play basketball. Many of the children are disadvantaged and would have no opportunity to participate in an extra-curricular sport/activity if not for the Club. By offering Pickleball at the Club, we will have the opportunity to help children with hand-eye coordination and other skills as they play.
They will also learn how what good sportsmanship is and how to play as a team. In addition, when the Club is closed to the children, adults can use the courts for their recreational play. Most of our "founding" members are over 65 years old, so it will be wonderful for them to be able to play in their home-town and make use of the courts when the children aren't using them. The courts have lights and are covered, so we expect to be able to play year round. (CONGRATULATIONS, Linda).
Benjamin Paquette (Addison, TX) notes that he got the funding from the legacy foundation for pickleball lines and some storage in Addison. Looking forward to getting it all worked on and looking good now!!! (Good work).
Jayne Underwood (Edmond, OK) shares the following: The Greater OKC Pickleball Club assisted the USTA Oklahoma Tennis Foundation at their request in a “Learn to Play Pickleball” fundraiser for their group on Sunday, August 26th at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond. Fifty paid participants came together, tennis and pickleball players alike, to play pickleball and enjoy fellowship! There was a fun raffle and tennis/pickleball clubs around the Metro generously donated items. USAPA Ambassador Sherry Prince of Boulevard Paddles contributed a new paddle to the raffle.
There were 4 ambassadors from the USAPA (Sherry Prince, Brian Richardson, Rocky Arrington and Jayne Underwood) and an additional 10 members from the Greater Oklahoma City Pickleball Club who helped coach. GOKCPB Club has over 500 members in the metro now and continues growth each year.
As Carmen Bond, USTA-OK Foundation Development Director in charge of the event said, “Tennis and Pickleball – better together!” Each pickleball coach and ambassador was given a USTA-OK Tennis visor in appreciation for our help.
We know the tennis players had a good time because we had to start packing away nets to get them to leave at the designated stopping time! (Great job, Jayne). (Photos below and next page)
The OK City PB volunteers.
Tennis & PB getting together and having fun.
Rocky Arrington (OK City, OK) provides more proof of the growth of PB in his area: In Oklahoma City we are seeing some great things happen. Ambassadors Brian Richardson, Rocky Arrington and GOPB club member Tom Hamilton met with Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation in hope of developing a partnership. After two meetings we were granted permission to mark pickleball courts on underused/unused tennis courts. By mid September we will be marking outdoor courts at Sellers Park and Northwest Optimist Parks in OkC! And in a two-week period at least 90 potential pickleball players were exposed to our game at two demos. Ambassador Brian Richardson led a demo at The Greens Tennis Center with 40 participants. Another 50 tennis players were introduced to pickleball in a demo at Oaktree Tennis Center led by Ambassadors Jayne Underwood and Sherry Prince. THEN at three GOPB sites another 30 newbies took lessons. Two new sites are being added to our locations in OkC.
It is a fun time here. (It sure sounds and looks like it is fun)).
Yvonne Mansour (Buda, TX) sent the following: Buda Pickleball recently completed its 1st Annual Buda Pickleball Tournament and was hosted by the Hays Communities YMCA in Buda. The tournament was a huge success! Sixteen teams (32 players) competed in the tournament which consisted of Pool Play (4 pools) and the winning team of each pool competed in a Playoff for 1st – 4th place medals. The Playoff Matches were refereed by Amy Yarbrough (USAPA Ambassador-San Marcos Area) and her mixed-doubles partner Randall Wood. About 20 volunteers from Buda Pickleball worked to make sure all aspects of the tournament went smoothly. One of the goals of the tournament was to promote and grow the sport of pickleball. A tri-fold flyer was designed as a handout for spectators and gave a brief overview of pickleball and invited them to join the group during Open Play.
Also, Buda Pickleball now has its own logo and Facebook page. One of the players in the group volunteered to serve as Chair of the Publicity Committee for the tournament. As he was designing the tournament flyer he came up with the idea of a logo. He incorporated the design into tournament t-shirts which look amazing. (photo below) (logo in background)
Yvonne also shared that the YMCA recently videoed our group to promote the pickleball program. This will help to build on our momentum just coming off of the 1st Annual Buda Pickleball program hosted by the YMCA last week. Lots of fun stuff happening in our little pickleball world. (your ‘little world’ is growing)
Pat Heurtin (St Francisville, LA) notes that they have added two permanent outdoor courts at their West Feliciana Parish Sports Park. These courts were originally tennis quick-start courts and were almost never used. We convinced the park officials to get the court lines painted for pickleball. Once that was done, then the nets had to be fixed to have the proper height. Very happy to announce that this has happened. They werre completed just in time for some cooler, fall weather. (new court photo below) and next page) are some of the 28 players who attended our Labor Day Fun Day Celebration.
Pat recently gave a presentation to the "Lunch & Learn" staff members at the East Louisiana Mental Hospital in Jackson, LA.. The invitation came from Benjamin Mercer, Human Resources, who has become a member of the West Feliciana Pickleball Club and wishes to get a group organized in their area. The staff members in attendance were quite excited about giving this game a try and plan to organize a 'road trip' to the WF Parish Sports Park to not only observe the game being played but to get the opportunity to give it a try. Ben and I took a look at some old tennis courts and feel that with some work, their dream of having some courts could very well happen.
Pat also spoke with a Bains Elem. PE Teacher who now has p'ball scheduled for the spring. That teacher will also have use of the gym. Pat has been working with Bains and donating PB stuff for some time now.
Kari-Ladd (Weatherford, TX) mentions Val Spacher doing a great job instructing the weekly Haws Women’s Friday Clinic and sends a pic of four PB courts on under-used starter tennis courts in Weatherford. ( photo below)
Mike Goldberg (Katy, TX) reminds us of several upcoming events in the Houston area plus others…
Another Rowlett Rumble Fall Smash will happen at Herfurth Park in Rowlett, TX (near Dallas) October 5-7. It's an age group tournament with divisions up to 80+. Contact Susan Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
The Grand Prairie Senior Games will include pickleball on October 19-21 in Grand Prairie, TX (Near Dallas.) It's a double elimination tournament with age groups up to 70+. Contact Chris Ginapp at 972-237-4141 or email@example.com for info.
The Super Senior World Championships will be at Robson Ranch in Denton, TX on October 23-25. Contact Ford
Roberson at 325-280-0044 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
There is now a HOUSTON PICKLEBALL MEETUP GROUP on the web, where you can list or find out about local events, find playing or practice partners or coaches, ask questions about strategies or techniques and see what others think of new paddles/balls/net sets. You can join the group by going to https://www.meetup.com/Houston-Pickleball-Meetup/ . And contact Mike if you'd like to post a new pickleball meetup event. (email@example.com)
And plan now to play in or attend the 2018 USAPA National Championships in Indian Wells, CA (yes, the Indian
Wells tennis stadium complex) from November 3 - November 11. You can see or play with thousands of the best players in the world and have a great vacation at the same time! It will have every level and age group, plus a junior event, with up to 40 courts. Go to the USAPA website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information, and go to PickleballTournaments.com to register.
Larry Patrick (Hot Springs, AR) is hosting the following:
Jo Honeycutt and Susan Henderson celebrated their gold bling by getting VERY SERIOUS for their picture at the recent Great Plains Regional. (Way to go, ladies).
The USAPA Mid-South Regional (2019) general and lodging info is now available for viewing on (pickleballtournaments.com). This is important since there is a NASCAR event in the Denton/Dallas area during Mid-South. Now is a great time to make any needed reservations at a great rate. The event dates are March 28-31. Please share this info with players in your area. Registration opens Nov 1st.
Don’t forget about our Mid-South Ambassador Facebook page. Only Mid-South ambassadors can join. Please get in touch with Barb Patterson at (email@example.com) to join.
If you are hosting any kind of PB related event, please let Tim Dean (Mid-South Webmaster) know. We would especially like to have ALL tournaments in our region listed there. No sense having two events that are close by competing for players. Work it out so you and the other event are spaced out some so players can go to both events. Tim’s email is (firstname.lastname@example.org) and our Mid-South Website is: (www.midsouthusapa.com).
I also attended the Great Plains Regional in Colorado Springs. Had a lot of fun in this well-run event. I did take a break and my wife and I went to the top of Pikes Peak, which is a little over 14,000 feet above sea level. I took my paddle and ball to hit some, but as you can see, the court was covered in that white stuff I rarely get to see. I couldn’t even find the court because there is not one up there. If I HAD hit the ball, it would have gone out of sight considering the thinness of the air. (22 degrees wind chill)
Well… I understand that things are going to cool down some pretty soon. It won’t be soon enough.
Keep our PB friends and the rest of the populations in North and South Carolina in your thoughts and prayers.
MID-SOUTH REGION NEWSLETTER
Shannon Jones (Huffman, TX) has recently been added to our growing list of ambassadors to the Mid-South Region. Although she is a true beginner, she hosted the PB group from Brenham, TX to come and demo and instruct the interested people in Huffman. Shannon wants to eventually have friendly competition with nearby towns/cities. Being the Athletic Secretary for the local school district, she is in a position to utilize facilities to host PB events for the community.
Vicki Bruce (Brenham, TX) has been approved by the USAPA for a community grant. Here is how: This grant will provide equipment for Boys & Girls Club of Washington County so the over 250+ youth who attend the Club on a daily basis have the opportunity to learn the
game. The funding would help facilitate a unique partnership between the local Pickleball Club, City of Brenham, and Boys & Girls Club. It affords disadvantaged youth the opportunity to learn a sport they would otherwise not have access to learn which is in direct correlation with one of the key principles around which the club centers its programming, Healthy Lifestyles. Teaching youth this particular game has the potential to help them grow and develop in many ways and is a sport they could very well end up playing for the rest of their lives. (Congratulations, Vicki).
(A brief note about USAPA grants. A certain amount is allocated each quarter of the year. There is a great chance to obtain the grant if it is to be used for any venue that currently does not have PB or maybe is just beginning PB. See GRANTS on the USAPA website for details.)
Speaking/writing of Brenham, Baton Rouge, LA ambassadors Cindy & Tex Morris were invited to Brenham to conduct a clinic. The event dealt with communication with partner, court position, and shot selection (set up your partner), and was enjoyed by all 30 participants.
Pat Heurtin (St Francisville, LA) and many members of their club recently celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the West Feliciana Pickleball Club with a party. The players have decided to call themselves ‘Pat’s Brats’ for all she has done in the three short years. The Brats even have shirts. (photos below & next page)