Letter: Pickleball facts from our side of net
To the editor:
The proposed Pittsfield pickleball courts will be located on Benedict Road between the water tower and Bossidy Drive, next to the softball fields at the Doyle Softball Complex. The proposed plot is only 0.3 acres, less acreage than occupied by the four tennis courts behind Reid Middle School. Considering the minimal acreage and surrounded by softball fields, this seems like the ideal location for the pickleball courts.
Berkshire Mountain Pickleball and others do have use of the tennis courts at Reid and Herberg Middle Schools except when school is in session or when the schools have tennis matches. When pickleballers do use the school courts they have to bring their own nets and share the courts with tennis players. Dedicated pickleball courts with permanent nets would be better for the community and for summer tourists.
Some of the physical and mental benefits of playing pickleball (as in other sports) are: strengthens muscles, boosts cardiovascular health, reduces stress, helps maintain weight goals and enhances brain function. However, for those who want to take a deep dive, Google: Can pickleball help someone with Parkinson’s? You bet — Charlotte Observer. It is amazing what they are claiming about the therapeutic effect of playing pickleball.
Pickleball is taught in middle schools and high schools. The Amateur Athletic Association (AAU) and USA Pickleball Association have joined in a partnership to develop programs for young athletes. Pickleball is a great activity for all teenagers, especially those who do not play other summer sports.
Pickleball is referred to as the least known but fastest growing sport in the country. Last year there was a 40 percent growth in the manufacture and sale of equipment. At the U.S. Open Championships in Naples Fla. this year there were 2,161 players (only 800 in 2016) with 48 U.S. states and 15 countries represented and an estimated 15,000 spectators. The youngest player was 10 and the oldest was 87.
Pickleball is a lifelong multi-generational family sport. The female junior Florida state champ is 13, the top rated female in the country is 37. The Berkshire Mountain pickleballers range in age from early 50s to mid-80s, evenly split between female and male. What all pickleballers have in common is they enjoy healthy fun, friendly competition and socializing.
For more insight into pickleball, join us at Herberg Middle School courts on Saturday mornings (weather permitting).
Nicolette and Walter McGovern,Cheshire
Content retrieved from: https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/letter-pickleball-facts-from-our-side-of-net,573748.