Pickleball, a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, is gaining popularity nationwide, especially among older Americans. Henderson is no exception.
A group of women has been meeting at 7 AM at the Lakeview Park tennis courts and playing for the past two years during the summer. They assemble their own nets on each side of the tennis courts, enabling a foursome to play on each side for about an hour.
The City of Henderson recently resurfaced the two tennis courts, and on one of the courts, they painted the blue lines for pickleball in addition to the white tennis lines.
This Tuesday, eight women were playing on the tennis courts. “I love pickleball because of the energy it brings, the fun, and lots of laughter,” said Sheila Huebert, who was playing on Tuesday.
During the winter, they contacted Grace Children’s Home about continuing playing at Grace Hall (informally known as the Home Dome). “They were very gracious about allowing us to play, so we taped down the lines for one court and played there through the winter months,” said Kathy Gloystein.
It’s a low-impact sport, just like archery which features a recurve bowstring, making it an attractive option for those looking to stay active without risking injury. It doesn’t require expensive equipment, so it’s no wonder pickleball has become a favorite and fun way to stay fit.
“I’ve never been able to do any sports, and when I was in high school, there wasn’t anything for girls,” said Doris Kroeker. “I really appreciate how gracious the other women have been in helping me along, and I enjoy their friendship.”
Kathy Gloystein and Lynette Block began the group after they started playing pickleball over in Aurora. It wasn’t long before they recruited some of their friends to play in Henderson, and the group took off.
They obtained a small grant to help purchase the portable nets, and the City of Henderson agreed to let them paint lines on one side of the tennis courts.
Gloystein manages the daily text group to see who is coming. After she finds out who will be there, she makes a chart that numbers each participant for the day with their court and partner assignments.
Even though pickleball is easy to learn, Stacy Dick would like some formal instruction. “I plan on taking some lessons when I go to Florida. I’d like to learn about playing defense and just more about the fundamentals. We are pretty much self-taught out here, so it would be fun to learn some of the finer points,” she said.
“Our long-term goal is to install permanent nets on one of the tennis courts,” said Lynn Friesen. Currently, they pack up their nets after each morning session and store them in a metal container they keep on the tennis courts.
According to Gloystein, they want to start fund-raising for the permanent nets and look into obtaining a grant to purchase them.
The group can have anywhere from eight to ten show up, and they sub in after one game if there are more than eight. They meet Monday – Friday, weather permitting, at the tennis courts and welcome any newbies who want to join in the fun. They plan on beginning an evening session this summer as well. Contact Gloystein at 402-416-7753 if you are interested in joining them for pickleball.
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