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Pickleball is fastest growing sport

By Vivian Risch, Staff Writer

Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis, and according to, pickleball is the most addictive and fastest growing sport around.

The site also lists area pickleball locations in Brookville, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Carmel, Richmond and Bloomington. The site pinpoints about 100 courts in the state. Unfortunately, the newest Pickleball courts in nearby downtown Brownsville have been overlooked by the internet, but not by local pickleball enthusiasts.

Several years ago, BUMC member Bud Kaufman received a grant to put playground equipment on property owned by the Brownsville United Methodist Church (BUMC). Today, that same property is home to the first official pickleball courts in the immediate area.

A group of ladies, YaYa Sisters, were the first to introduce Pickleball to this area. Connie VanFrank, Vicky Snyder, Marilyn Elleman, Pam Lackey, Kathy Walker, Lucie Wilhelm, Rene Felton and Mary Shepard learned the game by playing on tennis and volleyball courts and the mezzanine at Union County Middle School, when the weather did not cooperate, even though they were not pickleball size courts.

Then one day, BUMC member and YaYa Sister Kathy Walker approached church members about converting the unused space at the playground into Pickleball courts for community use.

So, together with the backing of the Brownsville United Methodist Church and a grant from the Union County Foundation, contacts were made and by October, 2016, Powell Paving completed the Brownsville pickleball Courts with assistance from McComb’s Plumbing.

Spring and summer 2017 not only brought the YaYa Sisters back to the courts in Brownsville, they found a way to share their love of the game with others. Earlier this month, free pickleball Clinics for students and adults were well-attended and the YaYa Sisters loved every minute of it.

The YaYa Sisters can be found on the Brownsville Pickleball courts two-days-a-week and enjoy playing year-round, but indoor pickleball courts are not plentiful in this area.