Pickleball to grow in Cambridge thanks to Allina Health grant

The Isanti County Pickleball Club recently received the following notice from Allina Health.
“Congratulations. Your organization has been selected to receive a 2017 Neighborhood Health Connection Grant from Allina Health.”

Mike Mueller, with the Isanti County Pickleball Club said, “This is excellent news. This means we will be able to bring more new players to the game and we can start to plan and offer pickleball lessons for adults 20 through 50-plus years-old and also to players 50 through 70-plus years-old.”

Pickleball organizers invites the community to join them this summer for improved fitness, fun and fellowship.
Pickleball organizers invites the community to join them this summer for improved fitness, fun and fellowship.

The grant will permit the club to offer lessons and weekly organized practice sessions for a six to eight-week period. The Allina grant also provides resources for obtaining paddles and pickleballs for these sessions.

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports for people of all ages and gender. Older players enjoy it due to its low impact and ease at which playing skills are achieved. The game is played with four players on the court and all players enjoy it because of the moderate amount of physical activity required and the friendly social aspect of the game.

Gary Palmquist, one of the very early pickleball players in the Cambridge area, commented, “The city of Cambridge added four new pickleball courts last year at Central Green Park and now we are able to have more people enjoy the game throughout the summer.”

Palmquist explained that Pickleball was started in 1965 by two men near Seattle, Washington. The game was named after their family dog, “pickles” who chased down the errant balls. The game is a combination of badminton, tennis and ping-pong using hard paddles and a wiffle-like ball.

These free lessons and practice sessions will be offered starting in early June and club members will reach out to the community seeking new players.

Dick Welch, another pickleball club member commented, “One great thing is that 30 to 40 percent of the players are women and they have an amazing/fun game on the court.”

Within the next couple of weeks, the organizers will be asking for people to join them on the courts this summer as all can benefit from the Neighborhood Health Connections Grant.