Originating in the USA, pickleball is now a fast-growing sport globally, including New Zealand.
Best described as a mix of tennis, badminton and table tennis, it is a sport for all ages and fitness levels. Pickleball is played on a badminton sized court with the net set lower than a tennis net, and can be played as doubles or singles games. Players use a large paddle to hit the ball which is hollow, made of plastic, with holes in it.
Pickleball is an enjoyable social family game for the young through to seniors age where a mix of ages can play on court together. Auckland Pickleball Central recently organised the first National Seniors Pickleball Tournament with competitors ranging from 60 years to over 80 years. Other tournaments in New Zealand include a wider age group.
In Central Auckland pickleball is played indoors at Lynfield YMCA 10am-12 noon on Mondays and Wednesdays, and at Mt Albert YMCA on Thursdays 6.45-8.45pm and Fridays 10am-12 noon.
Venues have pickleball paddles available for newcomers to use but being an addictive sport, you will likely soon want to purchase your own. Players often take their paddles on holiday with them to enable them to play at venues at their holiday location, domestically and overseas - when international travel opens up for us again of course.
For other Auckland locations and times refer to pac.org.nz. For New Zealand wide locations refer to pnza.org.nz.
By Keitha Shalley, pickleball enthusiast