New Millis Pickleball Courts a Hit with ResidentsSep 28, 2020 02:53PM ● By Judy O'Gara
When the tennis courts were being revamped at the new Clyde F. Brown Elementary School in Millis, the town’s Recreation Director, Kris Fogarty, saw an opportunity to bring a sport growing in popularity to the community. And now, the pickleball courts are packed nearly every day and evening, from 8 a.m. in the morning until the lights go out at 10 p.m.
“Pickleball is a cross between tennis and ping pong, if someone were going to play badminton and they had a Wiffle ball and ping pong rackets,” says Fogarty. “I learned about it when I went to a conference a couple years ago. It’s huge everywhere and very wildly popular with the active adult community.” Fogarty says she saw the chance to introduce pickleball during the construction. She first introduced the game to the community in the gymnasium at the Millis Veterans Memorial Building, and she found it was a hit.
“I couldn’t get enough playing time for these people,” she says, “It would fill up in minutes once you opened up registration.” The department would cap registration for each session so that everyone who signed up could get play time, but then two sessions turned into three, which turned into three full days in the gym, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. “They couldn’t get enough,” she says.
Fogarty says that getting the pickleball courts installed near the tennis courts “was a collaboration between the Recreation Dept., Select Board, Elementary School Building Committee (ESBC) and the players in Town that really worked together to come up with the best plan. The replacement of the Tennis Courts seemed like the perfect opportunity to make the suggestion. It is awesome to see it come to fruition and the amount of activity at the courts is amazing!”
The Millis Recreation Department has closely followed state health regulations on COVID-19 safety, and pickleball, says Fogarty, was considered one of the safer activities, along with tennis.
“For the most part, everyone does have their own equipment,” says Fogarty, although the department does have sanitized rackets and balls in a locked box for use if players contact her ahead of time.
Don’t know how to play? The Millis Recreation Department has you covered. The department was offering a number of groups and classes (as of mid-September), and more are planned for November as long as weather cooperates, says Fogarty. If anyone would like to register can do so at https://millisrecreation.activityreg.com/ClientPage_t2.wcs or call the Recreation Dept. at (508) 376-7050 or email [email protected]
LEARN TO PLAY PICKLEBALL CLINIC – John Pelaez
So you’ve heard of pickleball, but don’t know what the fuss is all about? This introductory clinic will teach you game rules and techniques to help you fall in love with this rapidly growing sport.
Millis Pickleball Courts, Saturday; 10/17, One Session, 9 a.m. – 10: 30 a.m., $15/session