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Featured Pickler: Kenneth City venue is latest to convert tennis courts for pickleball

Photo by Lisa Schermerhorn
Karla Gerczak works with youngsters at the courts in Kenneth City.

Converting tennis courts for pickleball is nothing new as it’s done almost everywhere nowadays. Count Kenneth City among the latest converts.

Last year, a public tennis court at James Ernst Park was expanded to a tennis and pickleball court. Earlier this month, that area nestled among a cluster of municipal buildings was renovated into four pickleball courts.

Bonnie Noble, the city’s vice mayor and an avid pickleball player, noted that locals were all for it with no objections from the few tennis players. The change simply meets a growing demand for pickleball.

“Everybody plays pickleball around here,” she said. “The community wants a lot more recreation.”

The grand opening of the pickleball courts, approved by the town council and built by volunteers, coincided with the city’s annual spring festival.

“The whole project has been a great success,” Noble said.

Open play draws plenty of players on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday evenings. Sessions begin at 6 p.m. and are geared more toward beginners and average players rather than those at a high level.

“It’s for folks to learn and to get better,” said Noble, noting that players have ranged in age from the 20s-70s. “We still have the theme of recreational pickleball so people can come and enjoy themselves.”

The first clinic, led by professional Gregory Storm, will take place June 22. The first tournament is scheduled for July 6.

 Photo by Lisa Schermerhorn

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