August 23, 2010

Muskegon Area Pickleball Progress!

Muskegon Area Pickleball Progress!
By USAPA Ambassador Wayne LaPointe

The Muskegon area has quite a bit to update.  Since I last wrote about sending a letter to the Mayors, City Managers, Tourism office, City Recreation people, etc., requesting public PickleBall courts on tennis courts and why it was a win-win proposition, we have seen progress! 

We now have two courts (which the city of Muskegon allowed us to paint) at Reese Park.

Reese Park is located a couple blocks off the U.S. 31 expressway.  Take the Laketon exit and go west a short distance to Laketon and Creston.  A Checkers Drive-in is located there and Reese Park is behind it.  The courts are located in the far northwest corner of the park (near the basketball court).

After I gave a short talk at the Roosevelt Park City meeting, and had positive reinforcement from the Mayor Pro Tem, they agreed to paint one court.  They have since allowed us to leave tape down on two more courts.

Roosevelt Park directions:  Take Business route U.S. 31 (which also becomes Seaway Drive) and go left on Sherman (via a Michigan turnaround if you are headed north), go a block west to the light, turn left (south) and go a long block to Broadway.  Turn right (west) on Broadway about a block until the street forks (there is a small clock tower at the fork) with Broadway straight and Roosevelt St. angling slightly left (southwest).  Take Roosevelt approx. two blocks to the yellow blinker.  The courts are on the left (south) just past the blinker.

We have also just formed a Muskegon PickleBall Club. (So far, that means they paid $5 and received a long list of PickleBall players and numbers.  We have future ideas of a ladder league, etc.)  We received good press coverage after advertising a PickleBall Kickoff Night at Roosevelt Park from 6 to 9 pm.  Everyone was invited, beginner to advanced.  We had over 50 people show up and we provided fruit and water. We had five courts to play on (with only the one painted and two others taped).  A lot of teaching and sharing paddles and great socializing occurred. The experienced players rotated and competed, but also helped the beginners too.

We have since met two more Monday nights from 6 to 9 pm, and continue to have an excellent turnout.

The YMCA, whom I approached more than a year ago, actually called me and requested a meeting about PickleBall.  At this point, that is all I have to report, but it appears to be another positive development.

On Sunday, August 15, beginning at Noon, Marna Kaijala (who works for Tanglewood-Agewell Services of Muskegon) and I were the Event Managers who set up and ran the 1st PickleBall tournament for the North Ottawa County Council on Aging Senior Games.  We taped six courts at Spring Lake H.S. and held Mixed Doubles, Women's Doubles, and Men's Doubles.

The competition moved smoothly, thanks to some volunteers, which included Dick Draigh (Ada), Melissa Muha (Portage) and Bob Northrup (Kalamazoo).   They generously traveled over to help us with the officiating and announcing.

In summary, we have a lot of new and also increased interest in PickleBall.  We now have general meeting times as follows:

  • Monday = Roosevelt Park (6 to 9 pm)
  • Monday and Wednesday = Reese Park (9 to about 11 am)

  • Tuesday and Thursday = Norton Pines Athletic Club ( 8 to 10 am)
    COST:  $4.00 per visit
    1350 Judson Rd., Spring Lake, MI
    (231)798-7173 or (231)865-6911

Of course, any time the urge to play occurs, we know we currently have 3 painted and 2 taped courts available, weather permitting.

Wayne J. LaPointe
USAPA Ambassador

1st North Ottawa County Council on Aging
Senior Games Pickleball Tournament