The desire for permanent pickleball courts in Beach Haven quickly became a necessity after a group of residents introduced the activity to other individuals on Long Beach Island last summer. The racket sport uses a perforated Whiffle ball to combine elements of tennis and badminton. Now, a year later, the town is hosting a grand opening of its new, premier pickleball center with six courts at the Nelson Avenue Skating Rink. The ribbon cutting will take place Monday, Aug. 3, at 5 p.m. All are welcome to join.
|Photo by Jack Reynolds|
Residents get into the game at the new center.
“The courts are ready to play, and people are starting to use them,” said Beach Haven Councilman Don Kakstis, who began playing the game with others on the Beach Haven School premises last July. “We’re proud of it because (pickleball) is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States right now. All the different towns are doing it,” he added.
The skating rink, which was formerly in disrepair, has been revamped with help from both volunteers and town officials. It will be a multiuse facility. Scheduled pickleball games will be held Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon. Anyone interested in playing roller hockey or roller skating can do so from noon on. Individuals with their own pickleball equipment are also encouraged to set up their own games throughout the day.
The local, volunteer-run pickleball enterprise, which currently includes about 100 players “from on and off the Island,” Kakstis said, is free and open to all residents and visitors, including beginning, novice, intermediate and advanced players of the sport.
— Kelley Anne Essinger
This article was published in The SandPaper.