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Byron Shire
July 20, 2024

Pickleball taking off in Ballina

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Pickleball at BISC. Photo supplied.

Combining elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the USA. Recently the ‘Ballina Picklers’ travelled to Sydney to compete in the NSW Pickleball Championship Open.

If you’re curious to see what all the fuss is about, Ballina Indoor Sports Centre (BISC) is proud to be the home of pickleball for the far north coast.

Roberta O’Brien, Ballina Council’s Coordinator of Community Facilities, said, ‘We started to promote pickleball after the sports centre reopened following the easing of COVID restrictions last year.

‘It’s a safe sport that was a way to reconnect people, bring patrons back to the sports centre and lift the spirits of our community at a time when they needed it most. We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest in the game, and our ‘Picklers’ are growing each week,’ said Ms O’Brien.

‘We’ve even had players travel from the Gold Coast to play games at the centre on Sunday,’ she said. ‘The sport develops mental, physical and social aspects while having fun at the same time. It’s an easy game to learn, and it’s suitable for children through to seniors, so it’s an ideal social game for the whole community.’

More clubs popping up

Pickleballs. Photo Wikipedia.

The Pickleball Association of NSW coordinates championships across the state, and is seeing more and more clubs starting to pop up.

For now though, Ms O’Brien said ‘the Ballina Indoor Sports Centre is the only venue between Coffs Harbour and Tweed that offers the community a place to come together, learn a new sport and have a lot of fun at the same time.

‘Pickleball is one of those games that once you play it, you’re addicted,’ she said.

Recently the Ballina Indoor Sports Centre extended its social games to twice a week, Mondays and Fridays at 10.15am and the first Sunday of every month from 10am to 12pm.

At $6 per session, pickleball is an affordable activity the whole family can enjoy. Check out a time lapse match on Instagram here.

The Ballina Indoor Sports Centre (BISC) is located at 63 Cherry Street, Ballina. Find out more at: www.communityspaces.com.au.

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