Pickledilly News

I want to extend a sincere thank you to all the volunteers who gave up a chunk of their weekend to give back to our community. You embody all the best of what pickleball is all about. I saw so much joy on the faces of both the attendees and the volunteers. I know my heart was gladdened by all the positive comments made by those new players. Again thank you for all hat you did.

Chuck Buchanan 

 

On Saturday, March 30th, a group of Aiken Department of Public Safety recruit officers attended a clinic that was arranged by Mo Garcia (district ambassador) and Karl Odenthal (ADPS).  To kick off the event, some of our top local players (Josh Booth, Jim Hughes, Wojcieck Adamek, and Mo Garcia) played an exhibition game.  This was followed by the presentation of paddles to the ADPS recruits.  The recruits were given a demonstration of how to set up a net, then were joined on the court by various Aiken players for some lively games of pickleball.

Thanks to all involved for putting on this clinic, and to our local players for coming out to give their support.  Some picutres are included below.  To see more, click here.

 

 

We are looking for a volunteer (or possibly two or three) to help with the Aiken Pickleball website. This would involve writing articles for the website, updating the “Tournaments” page, and helping with the calendar. If you are interested, please e-mail info@aikenpickleball.com.

 

The city of Aiken has issued a proclamation to recognize the month of April as National Pickleball Month in the City of Aiken. This was included on the March 25th City Council agenda. We would like to ithank everyone who attend the meeting to show the city that pickleball is here to stay and GROW! 

 

Steve and Lisa Miner, who will soon be moving to Florida, were honored at the quarterly social on March 19th.  We will miss their leadership, friendship, and support of the Aiken pickleball group. 

Fun was had by the nearly 60 people at the social last night.  Thanks again to Barb Burns and Pat Smith for the lovely spring deocrations and for organizing the event.

 

 

 

Mo Garcia has been working with Aiken Department of Public Safety's Karl Odenthal to arrange a series of pickleball clinics for a dozen of their police recruit officers.  The young police recruits have embraced pickleball as part of their PE activity most mornings before heading to the police academy.

As USAPA district ambassador and a member of the Aiken Pickledillys, Mo has invited a group of these recruit officers, along with other members of  Aiken Department of Public Safety, their families and friends, and PRT to a special pickleball clinic in support of this event. The event will be commemorated with the presentation of limited edition graphite pickleball paddles displaying  the "Thin Blue Line with ADPS Shield" donated by Mo Power Sport, LLC. 

The first of such clinics will be held on Saturday, March 30th from 09:00 am - 12:noon in Gym 1 at Odell Weeks and will be attended by 6-8 recruit officers.

To kick off the clinic we will have a brief demonstration of doubles and singles pickleball by some of Aiken's finest pickleball players. Immediately following the demonstrations, we will break out into mini-clinics, followed by  open play to include ADPS members and family with members of the Aiken pickleball community.  Everyone in our pickleball community is invited to attend this event and mix in to play with the guests of honor.  

 

In March we have lots of evenings scheduled for play at Odell Weeks.  Several people have requested court reservation time in the evenings so that people who work may also use that format.  As a trial in March, we are allocating two courts on most evenings for reservations.  The other four courts will be given a modified court designation format.  Please check the calendar at for details.

 

By Mike Beckner

Just a gentle reminder to all Pickledillys (and others who play at Odell Weeks) that pickleball is fundamentally a game which encourages and nurtures good sportsmanship. Here in Aiken, we have been known from the very inception of the sport for making all players welcome, regardless of their individual skill level as all of us were beginners at some point and we remember how difficult it was for us early on. We also emphasize that fair play and friendship are integral to the enjoyment of the sport.

With the growth of pickleball here, there have necessarily been times when rules and guidelines needed to be developed, in partnership with the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department of Aiken. These changes were designed to maximize the use of court time in a way that is fair to all players and also to protect beginners/weaker players from more advanced and/or more aggressive players. None of us want to be known as enforcers or the “pickleball police” but with our growth and subsequent organization, players have volunteered to be on the leadership team to help us with the sport as it continues to grow. We are indebted to those volunteers and their commitment to make pickleball in Aiken as good as it can be.

One of the products of our organization was the formation of player representatives for each skill level. These “player reps” are the ombudsmen for their respective skill levels and bring topics of interest from their players to the leadership team. They also serve as the eyes and ears of the leadership team and help explain the rules and guidelines during play. Please respect and listen to the player reps if they are sharing guidelines and rules with you on the court. They are simply carrying out their duties and do not deserve to be disrespected or insulted when simply trying to share information regarding a variety of issues. If there is a disagreement with any of the rules, ask the player rep to seek further guidance from the leadership team. In the meantime, please follow the guidance given by the player rep.

Players who become abusive, obnoxious or disrespectful run the risk of being sanctioned by the leadership team and/or by Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Unfortunately, there have been instances when PRT has had to ask offending players to leave the court and subsequently barred them from future play.

 

Many of you are already enjoying the indoor pickleball courts that have been added at Gregg Park Civic Center. We have some good news about this venue: Gregg Park will be adding two additional days of play in mid-March! Starting on February 12th, the weekly schedule will be as follows:

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30 – 11:30 AM – Drop-in play, mixed level on 4 courts

Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM – Drop-in play, court designation 

Wednesdays 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM – Drop-in play, mixed level on 4 courts

Wednesdays 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM – Drop-in play, court designation  

Saturdays 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Drop-in play, mixed level on 4 courts

Saturdays 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Drop-in play, court designation 

Please see the calendar at aikenpickleball.com for details.

We hope all of you will consider giving this great new facility a try. It’s located on A Avenue in Graniteville, SC.

Below is the layout of the courts:

 

The City of Aiken Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department will be hosting a free pickleball clinic on April 6th from 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM to introduce the sport to a greater Aiken audience. To read more about this event, click here.

 

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