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A “Dill”-ightful sight as Pickleball Tuesdays takes over Beth Yates Park in Sylacauga

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SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Sylacauga Pickleball Club is on a mission to make Tuesday nights synonymous with pickleball at Beth Yates Park.

Year round, Sylacauga Pickleball Club co-founders Dr. Jonathon Douglas, Rosa Butts, and Randy Clark offer free play Tuesdays from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the tennis courts. However, the group currently only has access to the left half of the courts for pickleball.

Dr. Douglas, reflecting on the club’s growth, noted the accessibility of pickleball as a key factor in its popularity.

“We can put about 50 people on a pickleball court compared to two people in tennis,” Douglas said.

With free play and lessons offered to kids from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Douglas is certain that pickleball’s popularity will continue to rise.

The club also prioritizes inclusivity, welcoming individuals with disabilities. Logan Paas, a paraplegic player who became wheelchair-bound in 2019 due to gun violence, noted the impact of the sport on his life.

“Pickleball gave me my athletic fire back,” said Paas, who formerly enjoyed playing basketball and golf regularly. “I think it’s a really good thing for anybody in chairs and amputees, and I’m trying to reach out to bring them here and teach them.”

The club’s efforts extend beyond regular play, with special events like a glow-in-the-dark tournament scheduled for July 13 and 14 in Childersburg. Participants in the tournament, including free play frequenters Queen and Linlee, are enthusiastic about the sport of pickleball.

“It’s fun and you get to meet new people,” Linlee shared as a sentiment which was echoed by her doubles partner Queen. They met at Pickleball Tuesdays.

Rebecca White, another regular attendee, praised the community spirit fostered by the club.

“It’s like family, really,” she said. “They’re socializing, and it’s just very beneficial for our young people.”

The club’s future goals include securing exclusive use of the courts on Tuesday nights before the eventual development of a dedicated pickleball facility. Douglas mentioned city council discussions about converting the old pool near Sylacauga High School into eight new pickleball courts, which would significantly expand the club’s capacity.

As the Sylacauga Pickleball Club continues to grow, its mission remains clear: to offer an inclusive, fun, and engaging community activity that brings people together every Tuesday night for free.

For more information and to check updates, visit the Sylacauga Pickleball Club’s Facebook page.


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