Rotary - Hervey Bay City president Joe Minnegal, CJ Baker and Steve Grainger introduce pickleball to the Fraser Coast.
Rotary - Hervey Bay City president Joe Minnegal, CJ Baker and Steve Grainger introduce pickleball to the Fraser Coast.

Fraser Coast in a pickle over new sport choice

PICKLEBALL: A sport born out of curing children’s summer holiday school boredom has bounced onto the Fraser Coast.

More than 50 people were at Hervey Bay PCYC yesterday to try the sport of pickleball.

It was introduced in partnership with Hervey Bay City Rotary club.

 Fathers Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum are credited with creating the game.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, Washington.

Pickleball is the fast growing sport in North America and caters to people of all ages, ability and fitness.

It is believed the game was named after the Pritchards’ dog Pickles, who would chase a ball and run off with it.

Hervey Bay PCYC activities co-ordinator Clinton Robertson hosted a Come and Try Day for the community.

“I am blown away with the turnout, with so many people here to give the sport a go,” Robertson said.

The sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Two or four players use paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net.

Rotary club president Joe Minnegal said the club was looking for new projects and approached the PCYC.

Rotary helped buy the equipment  needed to introduce the sport.

“We are here to support our community in different ways and this seems to be a great way to be able to activate young and old,” Minnegal said.

He said it was an inexpensive way to support a wide range of participants in a new sport.

Pickleball devotee CJ Baker said: “Cairns is the headquarters of pickleball and it is played in Noosa, so why not here?”

The PCYC plan to run the sport on Wednesdays 9am to 11am.

“After the interest today we may have to look at adding extra sessions,” Robertson said.



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