On September 7, 2022

Build Better Friendships pickleball tournament will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Rutland this weekend

Sept. 10-11 — RUTLAND —The Rotary Club of Rutland will host the Build Better Friendships pickleball tournament in partnership with Vermont Sport & Fitness and Rutland Recreation & Parks Dept. to be held Saturday, Sept. 10, and Sunday, Sept. 11.  Covid-19 took a toll on the Rotary Club of Rutland’s ability to raise the funds. The Christmas tree sale has been the largest fundraiser for over 60 years. The fundraising opportunity was significantly diminished when the annual order of 1,000 trees was abruptly cut to less than half.  The Ten of Nine Golf Tournament, the second-largest source of funding, had to be canceled for the third year in a row.  Club members determined a new avenue was needed to help fill the void. And one that would grow from year to year.  Rutland is suited for a large pickleball tournament and the Rotary Club of Rutland aspires to make Rutland Pickleball Central in Vermont.

Courtesy Rotary Club of Rutland                  Novice players learn at a short pickleball instruction session at the Rutland Recreation Center.

Pickleball is spiking in popularity and is the fastest-growing sport in America. The Rutland area is an ideal place for a tournament featuring competitive play with several levels of competition and instructional play for the novice. No matter the experienced player, or the beginner, pickleball boosts the health and wellbeing of each individual through exercise and social interaction. An effort will be made to meet the skill level of all players. The courts at Vermont Sport & Fitness, Rutland Recreation & Parks Dept. and Monsignor Connor Park (a.k.a. Meadow Street Park) will provide the opportunity for 80 players per round plus spectators. This will be a non-sanctioned fun tournament open to all players near and far.

Pickleball’s core players — those who play more than eight times per year — are over age 48, but the game is getting younger — check out the fact sheet at usapickleball.org.  The game was invented in 1965 by three middle-aged fathers in Washington state. Pickleball is a quirky cross between tennis, ping pong, and badminton played with a paddle and a perforated plastic ball.  With just a few minutes of instruction, one can play this sport at a recreational level, yet there are professional pickleballers that play at a very high level.

Tournament registration now open. For more details follow Rotary Club of Rutland’s event on Facebook or visit the club’s website at rutandcityrotary.org.

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