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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Spirit of Pickleball

We rise by lifting others...

Sometimes we play competitive tournaments. Other times we play training pickleball...against like-level friends. Then there are the times we play fun recreational play. But have you ever played pickleball for work? Well, there may some pros who do that, but not many of us are that lucky.

One local player in the NC Mountains has been "that lucky" 3 years in a row. Suz Flynt is a 4.0 player at the WNC Pickleball Club. She is frequently mentioned in these pages as a medal winner at tournaments. Suz also happens to be employed at Heather Glen at Ardenwoods, an assisted living facility near Asheville. Suz has put together a group of players each of the last 3 years to demonstrate and play pickleball in front of a crowd of residents.

This year's event was held June 21. The crowd gathered under the shade and protection of the porte cochere in front of the building where a temporary court was chalked in the driveway. 

Play commenced to the cheering of the crowd.

The cheering grew when the ladies team began a come-back against the men's team.

The cheering got even more enthusiastic when staff members were coaxed onto the court to hit some balls.

In the end, everyone had a good time. The players enjoyed the spirited games and the residents enjoyed the entertainment. Many expressed genuine interest in the tools and rules of the game.

I fell in love with playing the game of pickleball because it was - and is - fun. But it became a bigger part of my life than just playing because of the type of players the sport attracts. The event at Heather Glen is a perfect example. Suz Flynt arranged the event because her residents enjoy it. She and the other players took time out of their day to play for folks that will never pick up a paddle and go onto a court. The players did it in the spirit of giving. They represent the spirit of pickleball.

The 4 players are shown above - Suz Flynt, Hal Neff, Yira Pia Sanchez-Brugal, and David Kelly. Thanks to them for their time and effort. I'm proud to be part of the Mountain District with such giving ladies and gentlemen.

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