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Pickleball picking up in Acadiana – KATC News

Pickleball — a sport gaining popularity many people in Acadiana have come to relish.

According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, it’s the nation’s fastest-growing sport with about five
million players — a number that’s doubled over the last five years.

But you might be asking yourself: “What’s the ‘dill’ with pickleball?”

“It’s a combination of tennis, ping pong, and badminton,” says Sharon Richard, one of three USA ambassadors for the sport in the state of Louisiana.

Dawn Fernandez has been playing pickleball for six months. She tells KATC it’s a game that anyone can pick up.

“It’s relatively inexpensive, I think it’s 20 dollars for a starter set,” she says.

Local players tell me it’s a sport for people of all ages and abilities.

“I’ve played two other sports — soccer and basketball — but I like this one best,” says 9-year-old Levi Martin, who has been playing for about a year.

While it may seem all fun and games, Acadiana’s growing pickleball community is facing, well, a pickle.

“People just walk in and some of them turn around and leave,” Richard says. “And we hate to see that, but we understand why.”

Allen Guidry is 90 years old. He tells KATC he helped bring pickleball to Acadiana in the 90s and has been a player and coach in the area ever since. Guidry says, however, that the issue is real.

“We don’t have enough courts, period, for the influx of players,” he says.

Richard echoes that statement — noting that there are only six indoor courts — three at Beaullieu Park and three at Comeaux; along with 8 outdoor courts — six at Beaullieu and two at Dupuis Park.

For those who play, it’s not just a want, but a need and they say it could boost the local economy, too.

“As far as tourism, having an indoor facility, especially during the summer when people take vacations, could bring a lot of people to our great community,” Fernandez says.

Players plan on bringing the request for more courts to the Lafayette City and Parish Council. Those with Lafayette Consolidated Government tell KATC there are currently no plans to add more courts, but it’s something they’re interested in exploring.

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Source: https://www.katc.com/news/pickleball-picking-up-in-acadiana

Pickleball — a sport gaining popularity many people in Acadiana have come to relish.

According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, it’s the nation’s fastest-growing sport with about five million players — a number that’s doubled over the last five years.

But you might be asking yourself: “What’s the ‘dill’ with pickleball?”

“It’s a combination of tennis, ping pong, and badminton,” says Sharon Richard, one of three USA ambassadors for the sport in the state of Louisiana.

Dawn Fernandez has been playing pickleball for six months. She tells KATC it’s a game that anyone can pick up.

“It’s relatively inexpensive, I think it’s 20 dollars for a star…….

Pickleball — a sport gaining popularity many people in Acadiana have come to relish.

According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, it’s the nation’s fastest-growing sport with about five million players — a number that’s doubled over the last five years.

But you might be asking yourself: “What’s the ‘dill’ with pickleball?”

“It’s a combination of tennis, ping pong, and badminton,” says Sharon Richard, one of three USA ambassadors for the sport in the state of Louisiana.

Dawn Fernandez has been playing pickleball for six months. She tells KATC it’s a game that anyone can pick up.

“It’s relatively inexpensive, I think it’s 20 dollars for a star…….

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