Pickleball Comes to the Senior Center!

three senior women playing pickelball

Did you know that Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in North America?

There are five million Pickleball players across the USA, and the number is increasing with Pickleball classes now added to the Pt. Defiance ~ Ruston Senior Center activity calendar!

A sport that was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island at the summer home of former US Congressman, Joel Pritchard, and rumored to be named after the family dog “Pickles,” Pickleball became the official sport of Washington state in March of 2022.  

Ron Yaden, Point Defiance ~ Ruston Senior Center team member, pickleball enthusiast and now teacher, offers a weekly class at the Pt. Defiance ~ Ruston Senior Center every Monday from 10am-12pm. Ron, having first learned about the sport in the 1990’s, became such a fan, he installed a court at his home in Gig Harbor. His son, an employee of the maintenance department for Metro Parks, arranged for a painter to install the first court at the Senior Center this past year, with a second court pending to be installed “hopefully soon.” 

Pickleball is an alternative to tennis, played on a smaller court, and in line with the rules of badminton. Right now, anywhere from 10-12 people attend the Monday classes at the Senior Center, and until the second court is installed, they presently play with modified rules of reaching 5 points, instead of 11. That way, everyone gets a chance to play. When the second court is installed, Ron hopes to start playing by the standard rules and holding some friendly tournaments.  

When asked what Ron likes about the sport, he said, “Pickleball is a great opportunity for seniors to get out in the fresh air, get some exercise and socialize. The sport is a good, low impact exercise seniors can easily do.” It has even helped some players to practice their judging skills when it comes to whether a server has lost a rally by committing a fault.

There’s a reason the number of people playing Pickleball grew by 159% over the last three years, and if you’re curious to know why, stop by the Senior Center on a Monday to learn firsthand!  4716 N Baltimore St, Tacoma. 

Categories: General