WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published July 28, 2013, 09:36 PM

Pickleball growing in Grand Cities

There's a growing sport with a unique name in the Grand Cities. We show you a diverse mix of people, brought together each week to play pickleball.

There's a growing sport with a unique name in the Grand Cities.

We show you a diverse mix of people, brought together each week to play pickleball.

Pickleball here in East Grand Forks is growing.

Myron Johnson, Pickleball Player: "We're getting new people all the time."

Myron Johnson picked the sport up in Florida, and started this group a few years ago. There's older players...

Johnson: "I'll be 65 in a couple months and a couple guys are in their 70s."

And younger athletes, like 19 year old Nick Moe.

Nick Moe, Pickleball Player: "I drag my friends along sometimes and they enjoy it. Any ages can play."

Nick is a college tennis player, but fell in love with pickleball when it first came to town.

Moe: "I found it easy to pick up right away."

Now, he's hooked.

Moe: "Especially with playing three times a week I find it challenging not to miss pickleball."

Veronica Whitehead and her son Sam find it hard to miss a game too.

Veronica Whitehead, Pickleball Player: "He keeps reminding me that we have pickleball today so he gets me to the game too which is great."

21 year old Sam has special needs. But all that matters on the court is his special serve and attitude.

Whitehead: "Because he's so well accepted here it makes him feel comfortable it makes me feel good."

Johnson: "If they would ever have this in the Special Olympics, he would do very well at it."

Pickleball is pretty similar to tennis, with a few exceptions like shorter nets, a different paddle and a different ball.

Johnson: "It's a great sport. It's a lot less running than tennis."

Moe: "It's good for my footwork for tennis and other sports too."

The group says there's plenty of extra rackets for anyone who wants to try it out.

Pickleball is played every Sunday and Monday night, and Wednesday mornings at O'Leary Park in East Grand Forks. In bad weather, they move to the YMCA.

Tags: