On a weekday morning, the gymnasium at Nova Community Center, 440 N. Nova Road, is busy with the latest sporting craze, Pickleball. People who are waiting to play chat together on bleachers.
Ted Schiess, of Ormond Beach, recently spoke to the Leisure Services Advisory Board about the need to expand pickleball opportunities in the city. It’s not just sport, it’s a social event.
“We meet so many people,” he told the board. “We’ve made friends from all walks of life.”
Unlike tennis or golf, where players arrive with their foursome, pickleballers play with others who arrive at the facility.
Schiess would like for the city to consider converting a couple of the outdoor tennis courts at the Nova center for pickleball, pointing out that Holly Hill and other surrounding communities are building facilities. He said about 70 people play pickleball daily at the Nova center.
The board was reluctant to convert any tennis courts until they determine usage. Robert Carolin, city liaison to the board, said he would do a study on the courts.
After the meeting, Schiess said there are lots of possibilities at the Nova Center and he wants to start a discussion to figure how the sport can be expanded. For example, there are two tennis courts in a fenced-in area that could be marked for both sports, or converted to pickleball.
Other cities are going strong with the sport. Bonnie Strutton, fundraising director for Pickleball Daytona, said Holly Hill is set to build 24 pickle ball courts, eight covered, in Holly Land Park, using $1 million from the city and $2 million from a local donor. It will have stadium seating and skyboxes.
Daytona Beach Shores has 10 courts, she said.
Visit www.pickleballdaytona.com for information about the sport.