Welcome to the home of the
USAPA MID-SOUTH REGION
Randy Johnson (Jonesboro, AR) is the latest
addition to our Mid-South Ambassador family.
He has been playing over twelve years as he taught the game in both junior high and high school physical education classes. He also assisted in setting up a demo at the local community center. With the cooperation of the Jonesboro Parks & Rec Dept, they are utilizing one of the city’s community centers for PB play. Beginning next month, there is a plan to be included in the city’s rec budget for the purchase of additional equipment. “Our Parks & Rec director hopes to have us introduce PB to children in two of our local school aftercare programs.” Please welcome Randy when you have a chance to do so.
Hailey Lada (Jenks, OK) was recently awarded a USAPA Grant . Here is how she did it: Jenks West Intermediate school services 987 students in the Jenks community. They have recently adopted a "healthy and fit club" in an attempt to promote healthy lifestyles. My goal is to add pickleball into our options for activities! Many students of JWI have never heard of the sport. I love that kids of all ages, and varying physical levels can enjoy this sport. Our school has students from all walks of life and I know this sport will be a blessing to them!
With a grant from USAPA we will be able to purchase the needed supplies to launch this program. (To watch Hailey’s daughter, Avery, give a presentation to her school principal and others regarding wanting to start a PB club at the school, click on the link below).
(Congratulations, Hailey & Avery).
Jamie Elliott (McKinney, TX) and her PB Club raised $948 for the Salvation Army in just three hours. (Great work).
Joyce Mitchell (Pharr, TX) shares that the City of Pharr Media Dept. sent a crew to our new courts to film a promotional video about our clinics and open play. (Click below to view the result. It looks as if Joyce has had some acting experience).
Bob & Irene Romagosa (Denton, TX) reminds us that Robson Ranch in Texas continues to offer clinics to its members to help beginners to skill level players and is supporting it by multiple programs throughout the year. Whether you are a social player or a person interested in tournament play, there is a program for you. Those programs include the following:
Academy- each month a 3-day session (2 hours each) is done to introduce new players to all facets of the game. They include, but not limited to scoring, dinking, serving, lobs and court ethics. Below is a picture of the most recent Academy (beginners’ clinic). We usually average about 8 new players per month.
Skill clinics- The 3rd Thursday of the month clinics are run for those interested in enhancing their skills. The clinics include dinking, serving, blocking, lobs, 3rd shots, etc. There a 4 people to each group (4 groups) and they rotate among four different instructors for 30 minutes at each station.
Referee Clinics – these clinics are done on an as needed bases based on upcoming tournaments. The first 4 hours are in class discussions and the next 4 are on court practice. Players practice their ref skills with a few challenges thrown in for them to recognize. Players pick cards before the match to try to catch the ref off guard. As an example, a card may tell the player to foot fault or serve before the score is called.
We are always looking to add new ideas and programs as our membership continues to explode, if you have ideas feel free to share!
Teena Sandberg (Montgomery, TX) & Mary Simpson (Willis, TX) have teamed up to help organize corporate intramural pickleball at local corporations in the Woodlands, Montgomery, and Conroe areas. They have held several beginner clinics at corporate locations, introducing Pickleball to the employees. The end goal is to have intramural play and leagues for their staff, promoting fun and fitness! In addition, the ambassadors were invited to Champ Camp, which included over 400 participants. Champ Camp is a program sponsored by a local school district which provides inservice-training, and cooperation through out school district physical educators across the Houston region. (GREAT PROJECT and love the teamwork).
(Photo below of a few of the corporate students and Teena and Mary participating in a recent clinic!)
Barb Patterson (Georgetown, TX) sends news of their annual fundraiser:
The Sun City Texas Pickleball Club raised over $600 and a whole slew (or sleigh!) of toys for the Georgetown, Texas Blue Santa Program this past weekend. Our 3rd Annual “Dinks and Dogs” Tournament was held with 70 members “dinking” pickleballs in a timed event. 50+ players participated in “Play the Pro” games at the same time, with local Pickleball Pro, Matt Lazarine. Proceeds from that event also were donated to Blue Santa. (another successful project by this group).
Last month, I mentioned about the Bainbridge Cup and the German Open.
All ambassadors are expected to complete the survey that was sent earlier this month. The deadline is the last day of this year.
Places to Play updates begin January 1st. The goal is to complete this project by the end of the month. I know this gets to be somewhat time- consuming, but your District Ambassador and I appreciate all your efforts to get this done in a timely fashion. It will be easier for all if every ambassador helps out.
Registration for the USAPA Mid-South Regional opens on January 1st at 1pm. Go to (www.pickleballtournaments.com) for info or to register.
The deadline to nominate a potential Pickleball Pioneer Award winner is February 15th. The entry form can be found on the Mid-South website. (www.midsouthusapa.com). The nominee should be a USAPA member in good standing, must have been involved in PB for at least seven years, and live in the Mid-South region. (See map on top left of 1st page of this letter). The nominator can be a USAPA member, or not.
Remember to send any information on a tournament (sanctioned or not) in your area to either Tim Dean (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Charlotte Rivera (email@example.com) who will then include that info on our Mid-South website (www.midsouthusapa.com). We are striving to have all tournaments in the Mid-South represented in the tournament listing.
Don’t forget to join the Mid-South ambassador Facebook page. This is available only to Mid-South ambassadors. Contact Barb Patterson at (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join.
Please share each of our monthly newsletters with those on your email lists.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season as we look forward to 2019.
2018 PIONEER AWARD WINNER - CHUCK FLANAGAN
Chuck has been playing PB for about 12 years…after learning about the game by playing in an RV parking lot. He has been a USAPA ambassador for four years and promotes the game as well as anyone I know. He has participated in many local, regional, and national tournaments…and trained referees for many of these events.
He has participated in the USAPA Nationals, the NSGA Nationals, TX SOG, LA SOG, along with other tournaments in AR, OK, NM, and has traveled and played in WI, IN, MO, San Juan Island Indian Reservation (WA), and Harrowsmith, Ontario, Canada.
He just plain LOVES the game of PB. He is the first one to greet new folks who wander by the courts, no matter where he is playing. He conducts training clinics for novice, intermediate, and advanced players, and does it happily (and free of charge). He also spends a great deal of time training referees. There is NOTHING that he likes more than a good rules question! He is a District Ambassador and is always willing to pitch in and do whatever is needed for the game of PB. He is always a great sport while playing and people seek his advice on the court. His enthusiasm for the sport we all love is contagious.
BTW, he is also the Assistant Director for the Mid-South Region.