Upgrade unused mini tennis courts for pickleball

ONE of the country’s first dedicated ‘pickleball’ courts has opened after brothers John and Richard Kellert took over Panania Tennis Centre in September and noticed the mini tennis courts were not getting much of a workout.

Named after American founder Joel Pritchard’s dog ‘Pickles’ in the 1960s, pickleball comprises two or four players hitting a perforated, hollow plastic ball with paddles over a net until one side is unable to return the ball or commits an infraction.
Working with the council, the Kellerts have fully transformed the mini courts with fresh paint, new nets and posts and say about a few dozen groups have already enjoyed a hit out.
John says pickleball is very beginner friendly.
“The craze started in the USA where it’s exploding and it’s also booming in popularity here too,” he said.
“It’s ideal for all age groups, including retirees, and perfect for families – mum and dad can bring the kids along and enjoy a fun, competitive game together.
“We’ve had a few school groups in already and would welcome more.”
Pickleball costs $2.50 for bat and ball hire, $20 for an hour during the day and $25 at night to cover lighting costs.
“You can play up to 11pm if you like as our 14 courts in total – eight tennis courts, four Pickleball and two soccer/tennis courts – are all floodlit,” John said.
Info, bookings: 0466 200 540.