Teams from four Erickson Living communities compete in fast-growing sport
Greenspring residents Merry Mackie, Yvonne Taylor, Archie Taylor, Blair Blunt, Tom Doshier, Kelly McCaffery, Roy O’Connor and Lynn O’Connor made up the winning team at the first-ever pickleball tournament between four Erickson Living retirement communities. (Photo Credit: Allison Gerardy)
The team from Greenspring, a continuing care retirement community developed and managed by Erickson Living, recently took home first place in the inaugural inter-community pickleball tournament.
Oak Crest, also developed and managed by Erickson, hosted the tournament at their Parkville, Maryland campus. The competition brought together players from Greenspring, Oak Crest, Riderwood, and Ashby Ponds for a day of friendly competition and camaraderie.
Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. Fun, fast-paced and easy to learn, pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. It can be played as doubles or singles, both indoors and outdoors on a badminton-sized court and slightly modified tennis net. The tournament at Oak Crest was played in a doubles format on the indoor pickleball court, part of the community’s recently renovated Fitness Center.
The Greenspring team plays twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, on their own indoor court at the Northern Virginia community. Roy O’Connor and his wife Lynn have been playing with the group since 2007, a year after they moved into Greenspring. As avid tennis players, the game instantly appealed to them.
“We became familiar with the game after moving to Greenspring. For a few years, we continued to play tennis along with pickleball, but found that the smaller court and wooden floor are less taxing on our limbs, particularly the knees and feet, than the hard courts of tennis,” said Mr. O’Connor. “The great thing about pickleball is that you can still get a great cardio workout with less running.”
Combining Fun and Fitness
As a senior health care leader in Northern Virginia, Greenspring is committed to a holistic wellness philosophy, encouraging healthy living as part of every resident’s physical, emotional and social life. In addition to the easily accessible on-campus medical center, the community offers ample amenities including the indoor pickleball court, all-season swimming pool and Fitness Center staffed with personal trainers.
“Pickleball is a great way to exercise and keep your body active,” said Mr. O’Connor. “We find that the strategy of doubles play is very challenging but enjoyable. We also enjoy being able to play on the indoor court at Greenspring all year long. There is no worry about wind, cold or inclement weather and it is a nice way to meet people.”
With climate-controlled walkways connecting nearly all the Greenspring campus, including its three clubhouses, the pickleball court and other amenities are conveniently located just steps away from residents’ maintenance-free apartment homes.
More than a Game
The Greenspring pickleball group, which has been active at the community for about 16 years, currently has 25 members and welcomes new players. “I would tell someone interested in playing Pickleball to come on out and give it a try. We dedicate a portion of our court time for beginners learning how to play,” said Mr. O’Connor.
The pickleball group is just one of more than 100 resident-run groups and clubs on campus. Whether they enjoy sports, gardening or studying genealogy—and almost everything in between—Greenspring residents have plenty of opportunities to meet new friends and neighbors while exploring their interests and hobbies.
“Pickleball adds a lot of enjoyment to our lives here at Greenspring. The players are a great group of people that you get to know,” said Mr. O’Connor. “Several times a year, the group enjoys a social get-together, usually a wine and cheese party. And once a year, we share a pot luck dinner in one of our common area facilities.”
Play it Again
The Greenspring team is already looking forward to the next inter-community competition.
“I thought the tournament was amazing. Oak Crest did a great job in organizing and hosting this first tournament. Our team members really liked getting out and being able to play residents from other communities,” said Mr. O’Connor. “It is fun to compete with other players within the Erickson family.”
About Greenspring: Greenspring, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 58-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia. The non-profit community of more than 2,000 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own independent board of directors which is supported by National Senior Campuses, www.nationalseniorcampuses.org. The board provides long-term financial security and operational oversight for the residents. Additional information about Greenspring can be found at www.GreenspringCommunity.com.