Recreation with relishThe game’s got a funny name, but pickleball has at least one supporter who is serious about getting Rosemount residents out and playing.
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
The game’s got a funny name, but pickleball has at least one supporter who is serious about getting Rosemount residents out and playing.
Terry Taylor discovered pickleball last winter while spending the winter in Florida. The game, which he described as a mix of tennis, badminton and ping pong, was a hit, drawing 70 to 75 people for special events. Taylor tried it and got hooked, and now he wants to bring it home.
Taylor paid $80 to the US Pickleball Association to become an official ambassador for the game and he’s spent the last several weeks preaching the pickleball gospel. He approached the Rosemount Parks and Recreation Department about getting a court in the city, and last week the department taped off a 20- by 44-foot playing area on one of the tennis courts at Claret Park.
Rosemount park supervisor Tom Schuster said he checked with other cities after Taylor visited the parks and recreation office and discovered pickleball is catching on in several places around the area. Lakeville has courts, as does Bloomington. Rosemount was already doing some work on its tennis courts, so Schuster had them put in the dark blue boundary lines inside the regular tennis boundaries.
“The nice thing about it is, by striping the courts for pickleball you don’t really don’t have to change the courts at all,” Schuster said. “As a park and recreation agency we’re always looking at options we can provide. This one was good, because we didn’t have to build a new facility.”
Taylor isn’t done spreading the word, though. He talks to just about everyone he meets about pickleball. And while few have heard of it — and many laugh at the name — he said most who try it get hooked.
That’s what happened with his son, who has become a regular pickleballer. And Taylor figures it will happen with others if they give the game a chance.
Taylor plans to set a time at least once a week when he will sit at Claret Park and be ready for anybody who wants to play a little pick-up pickleball. As of last week he planned to be at the park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays. He’s got enough rackets for everyone who wants to play.
Pickleball has its largest following in senior communities, but it is good for players of all ages, Taylor said.
“I just want to see people get out and get off their duffs. Especially these senior citizens,” Taylor said.
Taylor plans to keep pushing for more courts, and Schuster said if demand is high the city will consider it. Taylor is also trying to find a local church willing to set up a pickleball court.
“I want to get something inside for the winter,” he said. “That would be really cool.”