Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: Roller Hockey Rink Converted to 6 State-of-Art Pickleball Courts

South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Emmett Hall:

Come to the pickleball courts at Holiday Park any day of the week and you will come across players engaging in one of the fastest-growing sports in America. The one-time outdoor roller hockey rink has been converted into six state-of-the-art pickleball courts equipped with permanent fencing and nets.

For the early birds, the courts are a welcome sight at the crack of dawn and for the nocturnal athletes the courts are open until 9:30 p.m. seven days a week. The courts are located behind the Holiday Park Social Center and gymnasium, 1150 G. Harold Martin Drive., in Fort Lauderdale.

There are various skill levels that hit the courts and the primary objective is to get a solid workout and have some recreational fun.

Fort Lauderdale resident Chris Schweer has been coming to the pickleball courts for a couple of years and said he is enjoying the renovated courts. The former Vanderbilt basketball star still has the urge to compete as he has made a successful switch from the sport of tennis.

“I still love to compete and enjoy coming out here for the competition,” he said. “I used to play tennis all the time at the Jimmy Evert Tennis Center, but this is easier on the joints with less running. I made the transition to pickleball three years ago. I’m ambidextrous but had injuries on both sides so this game is physically easier for me to play.”

Schweer makes it to the courts three times a week.

“The exercise is great and there are so many different times to play here,” he said. “The busiest time is for the after-work people, which attracts the younger crowd that plays under the lights. This is a hand-eye coordination game and I still have that going for me.”

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