YMCA of State College constructing new pickle-ball courts, looking to draw newcomers to sport

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Pickleball is a sport that has grown its popularity in State College.

“It’s become a really close-knit community of generally more retired people,” says Josh Cone, Health and Wellness Director at the YMCA of State College.

And the YMCA in State College is taking advantage of that popularity, with construction underway to add five new pickle-ball courts to their facility.

“About two, two and a half years ago or so, some of the Pickle-ballers, some of the die-hard pickle-ballers approached me and asked me would it be possible to raise some money and put in some official pickle-ball courts,” Cone recalled.

“A couple months ago we were able to finally start, put a shovel in the ground.”

Pickle-ball is a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis, and in a non-pandemic world, people travel all over the country to play the sport.

Josh says the YMCA plans to hold pickle-ball tournaments and clinics when normalcy returns following the pandemic.

“A sport that really seems to bring a lot of people together, and there’s a lot of relationships that are built,” Cone continued.

“So you’re not only getting people outside and active, but they are also getting to meet people.”

The construction of the courts is expected to be completed by the summer of 2021.

Josh says their focus now getting the younger demographic involved in the sport, to further grow its popularity in Centre County.

“We’ve had some discussions with like physical ed teachers, and stuff like that in the local community to get those kids up here,” added Cone.

“There’s programs, there’s skills for even young elementary age kids that can play, and it may not be the exact game itself, but there’s techniques, there’s skills, teaching kids how to move, how to use their body.”

To find more information on pickle-ball, visit the State College YMCA’s website.

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