Resident Stories
24 March 2022
The Rise of Pickleball

It is the newest sporting craze taking Australia by storm – welcome Pickleball. The unusual named sport is the largest growing activity in the US and is currently taking off here in Australia, particularly amongst those over the age of 50 due to it’s easy to play nature on the body when compared to badminton or tennis.

When visiting a Hometown Australia Community, it is not uncommon to spot a Pickleball court. It may confuse some at first, with similar comparisons to a badminton court but instead features a low net like tennis with players using an oversized looking ping pong paddle, and wiffle ball.

Pictured: The Pickleball court at the Sunrise Community

On the coast of NSW, you can often find residents at the Sunrise Community enjoying a game on the Pickleball court, in particularly resident Garry O’Day. “I hadn’t heard of Pickleball until we visited the Sunrise Community and were shown around the facilities. I have always played tennis from a young age and so, I was intrigued as to how Pickleball was played and what the rules were. As soon as I picked up a paddle, I was hooked,” said Garry.

Loosely described as miniature tennis, Pickleball is a racket sport combining elements of tennis, ping pong, and badminton and played on a half size tennis court with solid paddles hitting a plastic ball with holes. “The game is easy to learn with new players being able to quickly pick up the rules and have fun on their first day on the court. The low impact nature of the game in both movement around the court and the skills required means it is a perfect activity for those who want to be gentle on the body, whilst the smaller size court means there is not as much running around but you still achieve an aerobic workout,” said Garry.

Interesting tip: Having been played in the US since 1960 people often wonder where the name Pickleball comes from. It is believed the founder of the game had a dog named Pickle who use to retrieve the ball during the game!

The social aspects of Pickleball are great for those who want to stay active whilst making new friends. “Pickleball is a highly social sport. It is guaranteed to have you smiling, laughing, and making new friends. The games are played as competitive as you like or as a simple ‘hit and giggle,’ either way you will make friends on the court or having a drink in the Sports Bar after the game,” said Garry.

After moving to the Sunrise Community over a year and a half ago, Garry said the amenities are fantastic and they have made many friends through being involved in the Social Club. “We moved to the Sunrise Community for the lifestyle. The vibe around Sunrise is we are all here for the same reason and that is to enjoy our retirement with friends and keep fit with the various sports provided. At 74 years old, the last place we wanted to end up was a retirement village,” said Garry.

When asked if Garry has a signature Pickleball move?… “Yes, I try and get the ball over the net and in play!” concluded Garry.

For further information visit the Sunrise Community on the website to explore what life could look like at a Hometown Australia Community.

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