Picklleball0629

Doug Rudquist plays pickleball at one of the new pickleball courts built at Jennings Park on June 24.

 

Eight outdoor pickleball courts are now open for the public at Jennings Memorial Park as Marysville officials cut the ribbon to the park improvements on June 20.

The city has been constructing the new courts by the park’s baseball field near the parking lot off of 55th Avenue since August of last year.

Pickleball is a racket sport that is played on a court that is similar to a small tennis court and features elements of traditional tennis, badminton and ping pong.

The city was able to open their new courts this June.

“Our local pickleball club came out in force that day, and after we opened them up they were on the courts playing pretty much immediately,” said Dave Hall, assistant director of Marysville’s Parks, Culture and Recreation Department.

He said the reaction has been positive so far and  the courts have seen a lot of use.

“I was just out there to play a game and of the eight courts there were only two that were open,” he said.

Local Lena Rudquist said she was glad local outdoor courts have been built.

“This is awesome. It’s so badly needed. Everyone we talk to is so excited that these are here,” she said.

Local Doug Rudquist said he has been playing the sport for 30 years.

“We play a lot at the YMCA in Marysville, Mill Creek and Mukilteo,” he said. “We’ve got an outdoor tournament coming up in Lake Stevens so we wanted to come out here and practice. There’s not too many outdoor courts you can play at without being a pickleball member."

Lena Rudquist said she wants to help teach her grandchildren to play as well.

“They’re looking forward to coming to play here,” she said.

She said it was a good investment by the city of Marysville.

“Our taxes are definitely helping the community because this is an active sport that everyone is picking up,” she said.

The Marysville City Council budgeted $236,000 from their general fund to create the courts at the park.

Pickleball is not a new sport, but it has become more popular recently.

“It has had a slow growth for a really long time. I can remember playing it in middle school P.E.,” said Hall.

It was invented on Bainbridge Island and was recently named the state sport of Washington.

“We started offering classes a few years ago and within a year they were filling up,” said Hall.

The Marysville Pickleball Club was formed soon after that and they have more than 300 members now.

“They would play at Cedarcrest Middle School, Marysville Middle School or the YMCA,” said Hall.

Members advocated for the need of a Marysville courts because they sometimes had to go to other cities to play. 

“Now we have people coming here from other cities,” said Hall, who added he met a couple of players from Camano Island who had come to use Marysville’s courts.

The city has begun classes for pickleball at the new courts.

“We have been hosting classes on Mondays and Wednesdays but they have already become sold out,” said Hall.

Jennings Park has eight total courts that are open for public use during normal park hours, which are from 8 a.m. to 30 minutes after sunset.

Pickleball classes take up four of the eight courts, so some courts are available for public use during those times as well.

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