EATON — The fastest growing sport in America, according to Josh Haynes, director of the Preble County YMCA, has served it’s way into Preble County.
Hayes introduced new pickleball courts during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Friday, June 20, at the facility.
“We’re just so blessed here at the Y, the way the communities — this community— and individuals have supported it, and I just want to make sure everyone knows how much we appreciate the trust that you put into our organization, the generosity that’s poured out to the Y, that we’re a good investment to the generosity, we will definitely make the best of that.”
“Pickleball’s been around for like 30 years,” said Janet Crelin, a board member of the Preble County YMCA. Crelin said she began playing pickleball after she was no longer able to play her beloved sport of tennis.
“A family started it out in the northwest, looking for a game that multi-generations could play.”
The game features a badminton-sized tennis court, a shortened tennis-sized net, a paddle, and a wiffle ball.
The new court, constructed by Brackett Builders, features four full-sized pickleball courts, exterior lights which are timed for night playing, and bench seating which will be installed later.
“With these kinds of partnerships, we the foundation, can continue to invest in different kinds of programs and facilities that makes our community better and gives a better future,” said Preble County Youth Foundation member Ellen Crammer. “What an exciting thing to see this all go from paper to completely finished.”
“We have been doing more and more programs for seniors at the Y,” said Haynes. The YMCA showcased three indoor courts within the facility, but community funding provided the facility with the opportunity to construct an outdoor option for pickleball players. Pre-existing space behind Sinclair Community College and the YMCA gave builders the square footage to construct the area.
The project took roughly two to three months, but experienced a lag due to the exceptionally cold winter months.
A five-day tournament will be held in August, and the court will allow competitors to hold seven matches at a time.