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Perinton opens new pickleball courts for fans of the fast-growing sport

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Max Schulte
/
WXXI News
Two tennis courts at Fellows Road Park were turned into six new pickleball courts.

The town of Perinton has just opened its first official pickleball courts.

By reconfiguring two tennis courts at Fellows Road Park in Perinton, it makes way for six new pickleball courts.

If that sounds a little unusual, it doesn’t feel strange for town Supervisor Ciaran Hanna, who said that pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the nation.

And he said that was evident when the town parks crew opened up the park at 6 a.m. Wednesday and there were already 14 cars parked on the road outside, with pickleball players ready to get on to the new courts.

“And honestly, the moment that the fencing was put up, I think there were people waiting for the fence to be put up and they were already on the courts playing,” Hanna said. “So it’s really wonderful … as you can see, this crowd is incredible.”

Players like Bill McCullough said pickleball is more than just a good workout.

“It builds community, it brings people,” McCullough said. “People who don’t necessarily know each other, that form friendships and relationships through pickleball.”

Pickleball is described as a hybrid of badminton, pingpong and tennis. Sally Lyddon, another pickleball player at the new Perinton courts on Wednesday, said that she learned how to play the game some years ago.

pickleball 2.jpg
Max Schulte
/
WXXI News
Jim Franklin of Fairport and Kate Savoca of Irondequoit play pickleball on what were two tennis courts at Fellows Road Park that have been turned into six new pickleball courts.

“I went to Arizona, and learned to play pickleball, came back, and no one knew about pickleball. So that was the beginning of the journey, and this is the end of the journey. So it’s been wonderful,” Lyddon said.

Hanna said the town will look at the possibility of converting some other tennis courts over to pickleball courts as well. He notes that one trade group, the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, estimates that pickleball has nearly 49 million players nationwide, an increase of almost 40% over the last two years.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.