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Stay active with the growing sport of pickleball

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and whether it’s simply walking more, exercising more, or taking up a new sport or hobby, there are many ways to do it.

Pickleball is a sport that has grown in popularity over the last 10 years, particularly in the Sioux Falls area.

Pickleball – a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis can be played by almost anyone, whether you are a beginner or have been playing for years.

Bill Marlette is President of the Sioux Falls Area Pickleball Club, founded in 2013. He got involved for the first time about three and a half years ago.

“It’s kind of an addictive game. It’s competition, number one. Second, it’s a combination of multiple sports, so it’s not just about hitting it like racquetball. It’s a little bit of squash, a little bit of table tennis, a little bit of tennis,” he said.

Marlette says it’s an easy sport to start with once you learn the rules.

“The other thing is just getting a touch of the ball. How to get the ball where you want it and at what speed. It’s more of a strategy game where you move people around and then smash it, so it’s a little bit of everything. It’s really a touch,” Marlette said.

Pickleball is a sport that has been growing in popularity in Sioux Fall for at least 10 years, and the Sioux Falls Pickleball Club has over 600 registered members.

“It’s getting harder and harder to find playgrounds because there are so many people. I was at Terry Redlin’s last night and there were almost 15 people waiting to play six courts, so it’s really expanded like I said, and a lot of younger people are starting to play,” Marlette said.

Kim Donelan is a program manager at Sanford Wellness Center who previously worked as a personal trainer. She says they’ve expanded Pickleball at their facilities.

“You see people in their 20s attending with people in their 70s and 80s and somewhere in between and so it’s such a great mixed population that’s so cool to see and so welcoming,” she said.

And regardless of your age, it’s a great way to stay active.

“So much research has shown time and time again that every move is good. Whether it’s about brain health. Whether it’s reducing your risk of falling or preventing injury. Is it just for our sanity to improve it? That’s why it’s so important to be active and moving,” said Donelan.

It goes beyond picking up a paddle and playing.

“A lot of people who play pickleball are always very active. I think it’s a very social sport. There’s a lot of camaraderie. It’s always double, almost always double, and it’s just great fun. I’ve met a lot of different people that I wouldn’t normally meet,” Marlette said.

“Such a great activity, not only for the different levels of movement to move through, but also for social support from others and building relationships,” Donelan said.

Relationships that form between people in their teens through their 70’s and 80’s.

“In fact, at that last tournament we had a division that was a combination of 70+ and 17+, which is really fun. People would come out and play with their grandkids and so on. It’s growing really fast in Sioux Falls,” Marlette said.

If you want to learn more about Pickleball from the Sioux Falls Area, to learn how to log in and see their open schedule, visit their website.

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