More than 30 people show up per week to play games across Lexington County
LEXINGTON, S.C. (WOLO) — One of the fastest growing sports in the country is making its mark in Lexington County.
Pickleball, a game that was invented more than half a century ago, has gained a following in the county, bringing dozens to tennis courts across the county to play games each week.
Even though the name sounds like something you’d find in your fridge, pickleball brings together elements of games you might already know.
“It is a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, played on a court that is 44 feet long, 20 feet wide,” said Christine Cole, the Lexington County Ambassador for USA Pickleball.
Over the last two years, dozens of people, including Jeff Jauschneg, picked up a racket for the first time, and have been unable to put it down.
“Pretty much, I was addicted. I was playing everyday, almost 28 hours a week,” Jauschneg said. “My favorite thing about this is I could put four generations on one court, and they can all play competitively.”
The group has been growing steadily over the last few months, and despite the pandemic, more than 30 people show up throughout the week to get their swings in. They even have a Facebook page, where 157 people are currently members. Often, people get together to play pickup games or get practice if they are new to the game, but from time to time, they have tournaments.
The popularity of the game is now stretching beyond the walls of the Gibson Road Tennis Complex, where the group often plays on Mondays.
“If we had a facility with 10 courts, we’d have the ten courts filled up almost every night,” Jauschneg said.
In addition to the Gibson Road Tennis Complex, people can play pickleball at the Lexington County Tennis Complex.
One day, the group wants Lexington County to give them their own facility of 6-12 courts where people can play year-round and where tournaments could be held. Some say this could bring in some of the nation’s best players.
“That would be the biggest goal, not only for the county, but also for the state and nationally,” Cole said.
If you want to learn more about pickleball, click here or look into joining the Gibson Road Pickleball page.