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Durango needs pickleball courts

Could this happen? “Pickleball tournament brings $100K to Durango community and local businesses.”

Pickleball is a new game. There has never been a sport like it. You can be 6 years old, you can be old with bad knees or you can be someone who has never played a sport. The game is for everyone because it’s so easy and so much fun.

The 20% annual growth of the sport is occurring by adapting tennis courts to accommodate players of both sports. Each tennis court becomes two pickleball courts serving eight players. At schools across the country, tennis courts are now available for pickleball fun, and primary kids are happily running around whacking the ball. The game is so popular with our teenagers, that the Professional Pickleball Association now includes junior events at all of its tournaments.

Because of the sport’s popularity, Cortez, Pagosa Springs, Aztec and Farmington have all created outdoor pickleball courts and are drawing tourists by having tournaments. Durango has 150 pickleball players with no outside place to play. The Durango Parks and Recreation Department has prohibited pickleball from being played on every tennis court in town. Durango High School has recently completed a public-monied re-surfacing of its tennis courts. Yet coupled with this new expenditure was an emphatic “no” to any pickleball.

Locally, the availability and success of pickleball is now up to those that govern Durango and the school board. Will Durango be the town that carries the headlines?

Dawn E. Read

Durango