麻豆放映免费

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

麻豆放映免费

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

麻豆放映免费

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

麻豆放映免费

Pickleball Passion: Students connect with older generation

Pickleball+Passion%3A+Students+connect+with+older+generation
Vivian Studdert

According to NPR, pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., a title it has held for the last five years. Palo Alto鈥檚 pickleball community is growing alongside others worldwide, with round-robin tournaments and hit-arounds at local parks and country clubs.

Senior Reed Flinchbaugh, an avid 鈥減ickler,鈥 plays pickleball up to five times a week.

鈥淢y parents played (pickleball) a lot, and at the beginning of junior year I just went out with (my friend) and hit the ball around,鈥 he said. 鈥淎fter that, we decided to go every weekend.鈥

Flinchbaugh鈥檚 love for and commitment to the sport quickly grew, and he began to play at the Mitchell Park courts in his spare time.

鈥淭hey鈥檙e the best courts in Palo Alto, and people come from all over (the Bay) to play there,鈥 he said.

Junior Sam Little also plays at the Mitchell Park courts, as well as at the Foothills Tennis and Swimming Club. He starting playing in 2021 while in Lake Tahoe.

鈥淥n the weekends, it鈥檚 always packed,鈥 Little said, regarding the Mitchell Park courts. 鈥淵ou have to figure out how to share the courts and play with other people.鈥

Little acknowledges that, though he enjoys playing with friends, playing against someone new is also a rewarding experience.

鈥淭here have been times where I鈥檝e gone (to play) alone, and some random stranger will come and play with me,鈥 he said.

Freshman Jeronimo Garcia Gutierrez only started playing earlier this year, but has also felt the positive presence of pickleball strangers.

鈥淭hey鈥檙e not strangers for long,鈥 he said. 鈥淚t鈥檚 usually just older people and me and my friends, and they鈥檙e always offering help and encouragement.鈥

Pickleball is often dubbed a 鈥渟enior sport鈥 since a large proportion of players are over 60 years old, but as a young pickler, Little views this dynamic positively.

With all the different people I meet at the courts, I see them around town sometimes and can say like, 鈥極h hey, what鈥檚 up?鈥 and suddenly I have a friend who鈥檚 80 years old.

— Senior Reed Flinchbaugh

鈥淚 think it鈥檚 really great for the community that older people are able to come out to the courts 鈥 not just to stay active but to do something they enjoy, like a hobby,鈥 Little said.

Flinchbaugh expressed similar thoughts about pickleball鈥檚 unique demographic, noting that he enjoys his time with the age-diverse group of people.

鈥淚 don鈥檛 really have any connection to people above the age of 30 aside from my parents,鈥 he said. 鈥淏ut with all the different people I meet at the courts, I see them around town sometimes and can say like, 鈥極h hey, what鈥檚 up?鈥 and suddenly I have a friend who鈥檚 80 years old.鈥

At Gunn, the Pickleball Club meets every Friday at lunch at the outdoor basketball courts. Little said he attended once, but hasn鈥檛 been back due to the time it takes to set up the nets. 鈥淚 was really only able to get into one, or maybe half (of) a game,鈥 he said. 鈥淚 didn鈥檛 think it was worth my lunch to play that short of an amount.鈥

Though pickleball has taken Palo Alto by storm, Little wishes the pickle scene were more developed elsewhere.

鈥淭here have been times when I was traveling where I鈥檝e really wanted to play, but there have been no courts near me,鈥 he said. 鈥淚 wish more cities and towns would invest in the sport because I think it will bring a lot of people out and they鈥檒l really get into it.鈥

Little and Flinchbaugh both praised the inclusivity and welcoming spirit of the pickleball community, encouraging others to join.

鈥淚f you can, hop on the wave early,鈥 Flinchbaugh said. 鈥淚t鈥檚 fast-growing, but you can have a head start on everyone else, and (even) better, join our community.鈥

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About the Contributor
Vivian Studdert, Sports Editor
Vivian Studdert is a senior and a sports editor for 麻豆放映免费. Outside of school, Vivian enjoys reading, swimming and traversing the supermarket.
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