The island’s Pickleball community, along with anyone interested in the game that has its origins on Bainbridge, is invited to celebrate the completion of the Founders Courts project Sunday (October 3rd) from 2 to 3 p.m. at Battle Point Park.
As legend has it, Pickleball was invented on a dusty old badminton court on Pleasant Beach back in 1965 by three friends and their families and has grown into an international sports phenomenon, with an estimated 4 million players worldwide, tournaments galore, and instructional books and magazines dedicated to the game.
Over the past two years, a group of dedicated island Pickleballers have been hard at work raising significant sums of money and working hand and glove with the BI Metro Park District to build eight new courts – the Founders Courts – along with a grand entrance and kiosks celebrating the game’s founding and history.
Sunday’s event “marks the culmination of a dream that began a few years ago with modest hopes, and, with extraordinary leadership and community support, far surpassed anyone’s imagination,” said Clay Roberts, a spokesman for the island’s more than 400 Pickleball players. “We will honor the legacy of the original founders of the game, recognize those who have made special contributions towards the success of our goal, and fondly remember those we lost with the dedication of a memorial bench.”
A special invitation to the Sequim Pickleball Community has also been extended, Roberts added, “to thank them for their generous donation of architectural plans and support during our planning phase. Without a doubt, however, this event is largely a tribute to you, a generous community that gave time, talent, and treasure to see a project to the finish line that will be enjoyed by many for many years to come.”
Roberts said members of the original foundering families will be in attendance as well as Parks Commissioners and Parks staff. Moreover, Christiane Johnson, the architect who contributed the plans for the courts, and various artists and professionals, who added their talents to the project, will also be in attendance.
“We will have a brief program followed by refreshments and then open play from 3pm on,” Roberts noted. “We are hoping for a big turn out to express our gratitude and to communicate to key decision makers our future needs.”
*Article written by Kevin Dwyer