New racquet ball game has Fifers in a pickle

We are championing the benefits of an exhilarating new racquet ball game which is proving a bit hit with local communities.

Working with Fife Council and wider partners in a strategic development to deliver targeted projects to increase participation in physical activity, sport and leisure, we are offering people the chance to try out Pickleball.

Invented in America in 1965 by a family using bit and pieces around the house, Pickleball – a mix of table tennis, short tennis and badminton – has now become an international success thanks to its accessibility, pace and focus on fun.

Supported by Pickleball Scotland, Waterstone Crook Leisure Centre in Newport-on-Tay became the first trust facility to try out the sport in November, 2021 – weekly sessions have proved a huge hit with participants growing in numbers.

Now, we are expanding the programme and is inviting those interested in becoming Pickleball ambassadors to come along to a taster session at Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre on Wednesday, April 6 at 1pm to find out more.

Evelyn Crichton, group fitness class co-ordinator for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: “Pickleball is a really exhilarating game for all ages and abilities. One of its attractive qualities is that players can quickly become very good which means they get the most out of the game.

“Our taster event in Cowdenbeath is to spread the popularity of the game we have seen in North East Fife – we are looking for people to come along and find out more, then, those who want to get more involved can help facilitate classes at other trust sites by becoming ambassadors.

“It is fantastic that the game has become so popular and it’s a great example of improving access to sports and leisure opportunities by joining up with local partners to deliver more programmes.”

Nanette Mutrie, Pickleball Scotland, said: “By attending the Ambassadors course participants can learn how to introduce the game to newcomers. One of the great attractions of pickleball is that within 20 to 30 minutes we can have newcomers playing a game and enjoying the fun. We mostly play in a doubles format and it is always fun to have a partner to play alongside.

“Pickleball Scotland is going from strength to strength. Please look at the Pickleball Scotland website  for some more information of the events we are hosting and where you can play.”

Despite being launched during the pandemic, the success of Pickleball in North East Fife has been helped by partnership working between the trust, community-use and Fife Council sites which has seen classes delivered at Madras College. The trust is aiming to launch Pickleball at Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre, Levenmouth Swimming Pool and Sports Centre and one of its sites in Dunfermline.

Click here if you would like to know more information about becoming a Pickleball ambassador.