Pickleball anyone?
Posted on 02/27/2019
Students in SunRidge Middle School’s physical education classes playing pickleball.
Students in SunRidge Middle School’s physical education classes love pickleball.

“I think pickleball is fun to play with your friends because it’s easy and you don’t need much equipment for it,” Melanie Smith, eighth grader, said.

A combination of tennis, racquetball, badminton and ping-pong, pickleball is a fast-growing sport in the United States. While considered new to the Central Florida area, the sport began in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

To play, two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, like a wiffle ball, over a net. Thanks to a generous donation from the Greater Orlando Pickleball Club, west Orange County physical education classes received a class set of equipment to share amongst the schools.

Dave Vander Weide, Greater Orlando Pickleball director, along with four other volunteers, visited SunRidge to teach students how to play this fast-paced game.

“I love working with kids because they are so receptive to new ideas and there’s energy and passion. Plus, it’s just fun to watch them grab hold of a sport and watch them grow and develop [their skills],” Vander Weide said.

Sharing his love of the game, Vander Weide served up some fun while helping students get physically fit.