Pickleball’s best in nation on way

MORE than 50 competitors from across Australia are registered for the National Pickleball Championships being played at Kellert Tennis Panania in early March, with spectators invited along to cheer on the teams.

Brothers John and Richard Kellert opened one of the country’s first dedicated ‘pickleball’ courts after they took over Panania Tennis Centre last year, with John saying the growing popularity of the game is amazing.
Players use a paddle similar to a ping pong bat and a plastic whiffle ball.
“Think ping pong where the ball gets smashed over a net, but we’re not covering a little area like a table,” John said.
“It’s so much fun, it’s a perfect game for anyone who has played a bat and ball game like tennis, badminton, squash or table tennis.
“Like most games, pickleball is simple to learn but hard to master.”
John said there was decent prize money on offer and residents should make the effort to attend some of the games which they may find surprising.
“Pickleball is not like tennis where championship contenders are very strong; these players have only been playing for a little while and the standard is certainly not crazy,” he said.
“I really think people will be encouraged to give it a try, it’s a very accessible sport.”
Check out the championship games at the courts at 28 Childs Street on Saturday, March 2, from 10am.