Athens, Ga – Pickleball is a three sport medley of tennis, ping pong and badminton. Here in Athens elderly residents go to Lay Park to participate in this sport they say strikes interest from older to younger players.

“The kids really..the name is funny so pickleball what is pickleball. The kids get really interested and want to play,” says Lay Park Community Center Program leader Danielle Lyle.

Lyle says the game interests kids, but over the past year more and more seniors are playing.

“Here it is one year later and we have over 100 players and have created the Athens Area Pickleball Association,” says 71-year-old Jerry Brineger.

Pickleball provides older residents like Brineger with a different way to exercise.

“I think you use it or lose it and thats my approach to any exercise. I think you see a lot of people playing that are older than you think they are but are very active.”

The sport can be played both indoors and out and Lay Community Center is working to implant the sport in after school programs.  For those who want to take it more seriously there are tournaments in Athens and around the Southeast that let players of all ages compete. For now many just enjoy the sport and playing in the community.

“Well if you like ping pong, and you like badminton and you like tennis, then this is the sport for you”, says Brineger.

Beginners can participate in the sport Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the community center with other areas around town starting up classes or leagues.


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