LOCK HAVEN, Pa. — The sound of pickleball echoes around the gym at the Lock Haven YMCA every Tuesday at noon. The Lock Haven Pickleball Association gathers every week to play some games.
"Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing racket sports in the country. It started many years ago, but the growth has been immense over the past few years, especially with senior citizens and elderly," said Paul Ballat of the Lock Haven Pickleball Association.
The organization is made up of more than 60 avid pickleball players from the area.
"My grandmother showed me this sport at the YMCA, and I decided to try it, and the people are very nice and friendly," said Ashlyn Litz of Lock Haven.
"This provides us with another opportunity to remain active and make some social friends," said Dr. Praful Bhatt of Lock Haven.
The city of Lock Haven is working with the organization to create dedicated pickleball courts in the area.
The city recently spent thousands of dollars to pave over the tennis courts at Hanna Park with the goal of converting them for pickleball use. Now it's up to the organization to raise the remaining funds.
"To raise approximately $13,000 to build the standards and to also help with the nets and lines," said Ballat.
During the warmer months, the group plays at the local middle school tennis courts.
If they can raise the funds needed, then the two tennis courts at Hanna Park will be ready to go for pickleball this summer.
"It would be nice to have some courts outside for our own," Litz added.
"That will be great for the beginners, intermediate, and the advanced skill pickleball players," said Dr. Bhatt.
Once the courts are finished and ready to go at Hanna Park, the organization hopes to begin talks with the city about adding additional pickleball courts to Hoberman Park, one of the largest parks in the city of Lock Haven.
If you would like to make a donation for the pickleball courts, you can contact the Organization Director through email at Ronhaffley74@gmail.com.
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