JOINING HANDS FOR HEALTH
Enclosed are two documents that describe the growth of pickleball.
The intent of this effort is to join the efforts and opportunities of tennis and pickleball to the mutual benefit of both games. More importantly is the personal
belief that cooperation will yield substantial health benefits to American children.
Evidence of the “tsunami” of pickleball is in the enclosures. All parties should be aware of the potential to ride the wave to better health.
Historically the patrons of American tennis have been, and still are, the UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION (USTA). And most of their efforts are youth directed.
Currently the USTA has launched a new youth program.
The purpose of this letter is to open the minds of both games leaders to the unique and growing value in incorporating pickleball into youth programs through both organizations, and specifically through the school systems.
Why pickleball? It is FUN. It is easy to learn. It is inexpensive. It yields great cardiovascular benefits. It causes less long range joint injury. The courts need only to be lined on existing tennis courts (many currently unused or mis-used).
While this is simply a suggestion from a citizen with no “skin in the game’, it seems a
‘no –brainer” to invest a little effort to a moment that has come with little downside and tremendous possibilities for both games.
CROATAN HIGH SCHOOL “PILOT PROGRAM”.
Our three tennis courts need to be resurfaced. Left in their current state (no surface covering) soon the asphalt will crack, the cracks will widen and the courts will be ruined.
Suggestion 1. Resurface the courts.
2. Line all three courts for tennis and pickleball. Pickleball dimensions fit inside a tennis court (120×80), and are identical to badminton dimensions (44×20), Gyms with badminton courts are ready for play. Note: Tennis purists will howl that the pickleball lines on a tennis court confuse the tennis players. This lasts little time and can be refuted by multi-use lines in almost any gym.
3. Assume the best. Incorporate pickleball into the curriculum. Use it in the Physical Education program. IT WILL BE THE BEST LEADUP, OR CARRYOVER GAME TO TENNIS EVER TRIED (why? See virtues listed in all articles, but remember FUN as the hook. Youngsters aren’t impressed by “lifetime game”. Or “health benefits.” They don’t want to pay $30.- for USTA mandatory membership. They often can’t afford the time, expenses, and cultural roadblocks to be a tennis player. Is this not true? Is it not worth lining a few courts to prove it?
RIDE THE WAVE, CROATAN COUGARS. BE LEADERS.
TOM PARHAM- ASSISTANT VOLUNTEER COACH
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