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Grandpa, grandson bond on the court


Photo courtesy of Brynn Dawsy
Longtime pickleball player Barry McDowell and his grandson, Parker Dawsy, teamed up for an exhibition match at the conclusion of a kids summer camp.

As one of the original pickleball players who started out at St. Petersburg’s Crescent Lake Park in 2010, Barry McDowell is an avid player and advocate for the sport.


His grandson Parker might be following in his footsteps.


Grandfather and grandson played together on the final day of a kids summer camp, led by four Pickletopia instructors and hosted by Tampa Pickleball Crew at their Ybor City warehouse.


“Pickleball was a way to bond with his grandfather,” said Lisa Krawetz, Pickletopia’s founder. “Parker just blossomed in this camp.”


“It was cool to see my dad’s love for pickleball and his love for his grandson,” added Brynn Dawsy, McDowell’s daughter and Parker’s mother. “It really meant so much to us; definitely a core memory.”


McDowell, 78, has been trying to persuade his 9-year-old grandson to play pickleball.

“I’d give him a pickleball and paddle and said, ‘You’ve got to learn this,’” McDowell said. “We’d be a pretty good team if we played more often.”


Parker is a multi-sport athlete who has played travel baseball, flag football, recreational soccer, ice hockey and golf. Pickleball was added to the list this year.


“We made it our goal to learn pickleball so we could play with (McDowell),” Dawsy said. “My kids know him as the pickleball grandpa.”


Photo courtesy of Brynn Dawsy

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