Tag Archives: North Carolina Pickleball


North Carolina Pickleball

“On The High Seas”

SOUTH CHINA SEA – Pickleball, one of the fastest growing sports in America, is starting to make a splash on the high seas.

The sport, hugely popular in the Phoenix area, especially in active-retirement communities, recently was added to the sports offered on all 14 Holland America ships. And the line’s newest ship, the Nieuw Statendam, which debuts in December, will feature the game as well.

Other cruise lines, including Princess and Regent Seven Seas, also have added pickleball to some of their ships.

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Erik Elvejord, Holland America’s director of public relations, says adding pickleball to the company’s ships was a no-brainer “because of many requests we were getting from guests.”

As an avid pickleball player myself, I was pleasantly surprised to see “meet for a game of pickleball” in the daily program on a recent 14-day Asian cruise on the Holland America Volendam.

The nets may not quite be to exact specifications and the swirling winds can blow a well-executed shot off course. But despite some of the challenges, I was delighted – after years of cruising – to finally have the chance to play the game at sea while working off a few calories from the Volendam’s tempting desserts.

 Cruise passengers like pickleball

Jack Thomas, the national president of the pickleball association and a Scottsdale resident, says it’s about time cruise lines started hopping on the pickleball bandwagon.

“I think the cruise industry has figured out that pickleball is a very inexpensive way to attract and entertain their passengers and will soon become a must-have onboard activity,” he says. “It is super easy to learn to play, great fun for all ages and creates camaraderie among fellow shipmates.”

Tino Carrillo, the Volendam’s assistant cruise director who overseas the ship’s sports – table tennis, shuffleboard, basketball and pickleball – says the latter has been a hit with the ship’s mostly older clientele.

“You typically play doubles, so it’s less tiring than some other sports,” he says. “It’s more accessible for everybody. It’s something fresh and new that more and more people are enjoying playing.”



The Osmans got their first taste of the game at the Nano Center in Matthews, and soon began playing regularly at the Crews Center, also in Matthews. Desire’ started organizing email communications among Charlotte pickleball players and, in 2015, became a USAPA ambassador for the greater Charlotte area. Dick followed suit and is now the area team liaison, leading eight local ambassadors. “We have an enthusiasm and desire to promote the sport,” said Desire’. In the three years the Osmans have been playing pickleball, the sport’s popularity has increased greatly in the Charlotte area, growing from only a few places to play to 35 current locations in and around Charlotte. “We play three times each week,” said Dick. “There are enough locations now that you can find a place to play every day of the week.” The Osman’s pickleball experiences have expanded beyond Charlotte. They have played in local, state and regional tournaments, and spent a week last September at a USAPA ambassadors’ retreat in Florida, where they honed their playing and teaching skills. “We are intermediate players, not advanced. Pickleball is a fun game for people at all levels,” said Dick. “It’s an easy game for people to learn and become proficient.” The Osmans are doing their part to help folks learn to play. Since the beginning of this year, they have taught seven clinics. They, along with their team, brought pickleball to the Charlotte Health & Fitness Expo, Belle Johnston Community Center in Pineville, Dowd YMCA, Weddington Swim and Racquet Club, Firethorne Country Club in Waxhaw, Raintree Country Club, Palisades Country Club, and the neighborhoods of Dilworth, NoDa and Hunter Oaks, where tennis and pickleball are played on shared courts. They are also in talks with four other country clubs that are interested in bringing pickleball to their residents. “We live across the street from the tennis courts,” said Desire’. “I’m hopeful that BCC will add shadow lines on the hard courts for pickleball, so members can enjoy playing right here in our neighborhood.” Most recently, the Osmans partnered with the Parkinson Association of the Carolinas and Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation department to host Pickleball for Parkinson’s (P4P) at the Marion Diehl Recreation Center on Tyvola Road in Charlotte. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson’s disease reduces the amount of dopamine in the brain. One correlating treatment is exercise or movement therapy, which works to increase dopamine levels. “The man who first told us about pickleball had Parkinson’s,” said Dick, as the Osmans’ pickleball journey seems to have come full-circle. “His tremors actually went away on the court and that carried over afterward off the court, as well.”




Wayne County North Carolina

Feature –Susan $¢ Moneypenny moneypennysk@gmail.com USAPA Ambassador, Wayne County, NC Cell: 316-393-2927      

Pickleball is growing in Wayne County (about 50 miles east of Raleigh, on your way to the beach)! Although we’ve been playing for just a year, the sport is catching on here. We have limited indoor courts on which to play (only 6 total in 4 venues), but we have more than 60 enthusiastic players (mostly seniors) on our roster and about 25-30 play weekly. On February 16 the Goldsboro Family YMCA allowed us to host an Intermediate Skills clinic/demonstration conducted under the guidance of Joe Borrelli, District Ambassador for NC Coastal Plain with his skilled assistants Luis Vazquez, Cary Ambassador, Bob Hendrickson, Fuquay Varina Ambassador, Kelly Gent of Wake Forest and Becky Hendrickson of Fayetteville. For three hours more than 30 players learned strategies for advanced play, practiced drills, played short games and had FUN!

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Wayne County NC 2016

On Friday, February 26 we’re having our monthly “All-Day Pickleball Play & Potluck” at the Herman Park Rec Center, starting at 11 a.m. for NINE hours of fun! Players in the late afternoon or early evening are asked to bring finger foods, snacks, soft drinks or desserts for the potluck, beginning around 6 p.m. It’s a great chance for those unfortunate folks who have yet to retire to play with those lucky ones who are! Although we only have one court on which to play, a good time is guaranteed for all who attend! See you on the court…

Susan $¢ Moneypenny moneypennysk@gmail.com USAPA Ambassador, Wayne County, NC Cell: 316-393-2927


Mecklenburg County NC Pickleball

North Carolina Pickleball

Mecklenburg County NC

Mecklenburg Count North Carolina continues to grow pickleball and 2016 should be no exception.  A recent video highlights the history and growth of pickleball in this area.   Jewish Community Feature

Follow North Carolina Pickleball by signing up for e mail alerts on page one of this site.    Happy 2016…


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