Anyone for pickleball? Then grab a paddle and have a go!

It’s been a popular activity across the Atlantic for nearly 60 years, and now the sport of pickleball is establishing itself on these shores too.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 2:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 2:42 pm
Chesterfield Pickleball Club players in action. All photos by Ian Walton.
Chesterfield Pickleball Club players in action. All photos by Ian Walton.

That is at least the aim of the founder of Chesterfield Pickleball Club, formed in 2019 and giving its members the opportunity to take part in what is becoming an ever more popular sport.

Best described as a cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis, the game can be played indoors or outdoors and on courts similar to those used in tennis, but slightly smaller.

And with it being popular amongst people of all ages, including children, there is hope it could become a great alternative to other sports of its kind.

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Pickleball appeals to players of all ages.

Ian Walton, who formed Chesterfield Pickleball Club, said he was inspired by having seen – and played – the game in Canada.

He said: “We have family out there and visit regularly, and on one trip two years ago I was keen to find somewhere to play tennis.

"Enquiries eventually led to me to an over-50s health centre where they were playing pickleball. I bought a paddle, played for a few weeks and loved it.

"The paddle is similar to a table tennis bat and shots you play in similar sports can all be deployed.”

The balls and rackets are much lighter than in tennis.

Upon returning home, Ian found most pickleball clubs are based down south, although one in Matlock enabled him to play locally.

He added: “I decided to buy a net and four paddles and invited friends to play at Queen’s Park in Chesterfield. Eventually, the council agreed to mark a court out on a tennis court in Hasland and we now have four courts there, thanks to a combination of subscriptions and a council grant.

"The council also asked us to take part in their ‘Year of Outdoors’ scheme and we’ve become a properly constituted club. We run lots of taster sessions and are gradually building up our membership numbers.”

The club will be running taster sessions throughout July and August at Eastwood Park in Hasland. To find out more and to book, email [email protected] or call Wendy on 01246 959657.

To find out more about the club, e-mail [email protected]