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Friday, June 29, 2018

Land of the Sky - Invitation to Government Officials

It takes real planning to organize this kind of chaos...

When the Land of the Sky tournament planning was in its infancy, I knew one of my objectives was to try to leverage its impact with local government officials. While tennis courts sit idle (and rotting) in every county park, pickleball players are constantly searching for places to play. I think that county officials are simply unaware of such a non-traditional sport and its support among constituents, especially in a retirement area like the NC Mountains. My plans always included inviting decision-makers to the tournament. That invitation is below. Let's hope it works.


Two hundred+ athletes will descend on Xcel Sportsplex in Fletcher, NC next weekend. But these athletes will be different than those normally seen at the home for youth volleyball and basketball. Instead, these athletes include a 15-year old and a 76-year old playing a sport in which they can compete together. They will be participants in the Land of the Sky Pickleball Tournament, the largest tournament to ever be held in the NC Mountains.

Pickleball is advertised as “the fastest growing sport in America”. It has about 3 million participants of all ages. Its appeal lies in four factors:

Pickleball is first and foremost FUN. It takes only as much time and effort as you want to expend in order to play at the level you choose. It is a very social sport with a small court allowing verbal interplay among the players. The short games allow players to gather on the sidelines while waiting their turns to play. These gatherings also provide opportunities for social interaction. 
Pickleball is active and healthy. It lowers blood pressure, reduces body fat, improves coordination and balance, and helps maintain mental acuity. While pickleball is an active sport, it is not overly strenuous due to the small court and short games.
Pickleball is easy to play and inexpensive to start. At its simplest, the game is batting a wiffleball over a net. The only equipment needed is a paddle and appropriate shoes.
Pickleball is competitive – at least as competitive as you choose. The etiquette of pickleball allows for both social play among those who choose to remain novice players as well as aggressive play for those who want to let their competitive juices flow.
Visitors to a pickleball tournament will immediately notice the noise. Fun, laughter, and verbal interplay are common among players and spectators. Families and friends travel with players to watch and participate in the fun. Tournaments allow followers to be completely immersed in a pickleball atmosphere for 2-3 days. The desire to participate causes many players and companions to travel to distant sites for extended stays.

I would like to extend a personal invitation to you to join us at the Land of the Sky Pickleball Tournament. Play will be throughout the day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Higher level play will be on the weekend. Saturday will be the most action-filled day with all players participating in mixed doubles. Come see why pickleball is growing so fast and learn the potential for expanding venue access in our area.

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