Pickleball Players Turn Out in Force to Play on New Courts
On Friday, November 8, about a hundred members of the fast-growing pickleball playing community showed up to try the eight new outdoor courts built specifically for their game. The courts are located at 11706 W. 82nd Ave., next to the Apex PRD Simms Street Center.
After a few opening remarks to commemorate and celebrate the occasion, players eagerly took to the courts. Serving the first ball was “Pickleball Ken” Marquardt, who was instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.
Other players then moved quickly onto the courts, including a doubles team consisting of Apex PRD Board president Jeff Glenn and City of Arvada Councilmember Rachel Zenzinger. Relatively new to the sport, they both had a great time and picked up some valuable playing tips from their worthy opponents.
Others watched the activity, chatted, enjoyed refreshments and posed for pictures with event mascot “Pickleball Pete.” All in all, it was a great day for the sport and the northwest-metro pickleball community, now numbering around 1000.
An official grand opening is planned for spring 2014. Meanwhile, the courts are open for play during daylight hours, weather permitting.
Work on the project began about 18 months ago, when Pickleball Ken, an energetic ambassador for the game, began gathering with players to enjoy the sport indoors at the Apex Center. As their numbers quickly grew, they rallied behind Apex PRD’s effort to get funding for pickleball-specific outdoor courts. In January 2013, the Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee designated $158,720 to build the courts, with additional funding provided by Apex PRD and the Apex PRD Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the support of community recreation.
For those new to the sport, it’s an easy-to-learn game that is played on a court, like tennis but half the size, with a Wiffle ball and paddles. It’s fast moving and fun for all ages and abilities!