Monday, June 24, 2024

Blacktown to host pickleball champs

NSW

Blacktown City is getting set to host the 2023 Australian Pickleball Championships over four days from this Friday, 29 September.

The event, to be held at Blacktown Leisure Centre in Stanhope, is expected to be the biggest pickleball tournament ever held in Australia, with 700 competitors already registered to play.

For the past two years the event has been held in Queensland.

Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM said securing the championships was a major sporting first for Blacktown City.

“We are excited to host such a major event. Blacktown is a proud sporting city and we are very much looking forward to welcoming Pickleball players and their families from across our great continent to do battle in the National Championships,” the Mayor said.

The Championships will serve up a huge range of events over four days, with participants of all abilities and age groups from under 18 through to over 75 years old taking part.

Pickleball first began back in 1965 but has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent years – it has been the fastest growing sport in the USA for three years running.

Since it was introduced to Australia in 2015, membership in Australia has surged to an estimated 15,000 people at 70 clubs and associations.

Dozens of sports stars and celebrities have caught the buzz including tennis star, Nick Kyrgios, basketballer LeBron James and TV personality, Heidi Klum – all of whom have invested in professional pickleball teams in the USA.

It’s popularity and rapid growth as a game has been put down to it being low-impact, easy to play, appealing to a wide range of ages and fitness levels and it has a short learning curve.

The game is described as resembling a mix of tennis and badminton and is played on a court about 1/3 the size of a tennis court.

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