Six weeks ago twelve intrepid and competitive 2.5 players (yes, competitive, as that spirit transcends level) began a journey. The goal: education and new experiences to up their games. The finale: a 2.5 Learn The Ropes Tournament.
Six teams were created by drawing names from a brown bag. The teams had that six-week period to play together. To do so they would have to work the Aiken Pickleball website system to reserve courts and contact each other for practice sessions. To help with the process instructor Ben Lacy created two clinics, one on team building and the other building skills in the kitchen.
On October 16th the teams played a round robin and one could not help but notice the determination each player brought to the game. The tournament was lifted yet another level by the inclusion of referee trainees rounded up by Ben. Tony Kemper, Mark Giddings, Booker Paige and Davion Barry Bellinger were courtside making calls, in the process educating the players on various rules. It was a win/win situation for players and refs.
So who won?
Everyone who took part deserved a gold medal considering the nature of how teams were created and the whole-hearted commitment of all players. If you were to ask these players how it went the first thing our of their mouths might be a what they gained from the journey as players … but even more than that the comradery found in working towards a common goal.
1st Michael Sasnow and Donna Brisbin
2nd Kevin Curran and Marcia Gable
3rd Mary Curran and Pinkie Johnson
4th Wendy Russell and David Stinson
5th Susan Birt and Karen Pifer
6th Carl Withers and Martha Hartline