Seniors serve, volley at pickleball

Pickleball instructor Ruane Crummett instructs Sherborn residents on how to play pickleball at the beginning of the session.

By Robby McKittrick
Hometown Weekly Reporter

On Monday, October 22, six Sherborn residents drove to the community tennis courts on a cold morning to participate in a sport called pickleball. Due to previous rain outs, this past session was just their second meeting with the new group.

“It’s actually really fun,” said Town Recreation Administrator Kristina Gallant. “I was a complete beginner [when I first played], but I held my own.”

Pickleball player Paige Brodie created the group with the help of the Council of Aging and the Town Recreation Committee.

Sherborn resident Kelly McClintock hits the ball back during a practice session of pickleball.

Sherborn resident Kelly McClintock hits the ball back during a practice session of pickleball.

“I put together a proposal, spoke to Kristina, went to the Sherborn Recreation Committee, and they immediately adopted it and jumped on the bandwagon,” explained Brodie. “Everyone enjoys it. It’s a lot of fun. Anybody can start right away and have a great time. “

Pickleball is similar game to tennis, but involves a shorter court, a smaller net, a waffle ball, and a shorter racket.

“If anybody has had ping pong, badminton, racquetball, or tennis [experience] … it is an easy morph into pickleball,” explained certified instructor Ruane Crummett.

Crummet has played pickleball for five years, and has been an instructor for two years. The Waltham resident learned the sport when he was living in Florida and absolutely loves it.

“I enjoy that it keeps me active,” Crummet said. “It is a challenging sport … Once you get into it, you get consumed by it.”

The games can be played two-on-two and can involve any age and gender. However, the median age generally involves people in their sixties.

“It’s not [about] strength, but finesse,” explained Crummet. “It’s not [about] power, it’s more [about] placement … It’s a great game for [seniors] because it is less movement than a large tennis court.”

Pickleball instructor Ruane Crummet hits the ball back-and-forth with the creator of the group, Paige Brodie.

Pickleball instructor Ruane Crummet hits the ball back-and-forth with the creator of the group, Paige Brodie.

Two new members in the group are former tennis players who wanted to play an easier game for their bodies.

“As you get older, running around and playing tennis is sometimes a problem,” said Sherborn resident Bonnie Mineo, “so we thought it would be nice to have an outdoor racket sport that is not as vigorous as tennis.”

Crummet stressed that pickleball is open to anyone of any age who is interested in learning the sport.

“The best thing is that anybody can learn it if you have any sort of hand eye coordination,” said Crummet. “It’s a non-judgmental type of sport [and] anybody can do it.”

Pickleball is free for any Sherborn resident who wants to play, and the equipment is available to use at any time after obtaining the combination for the lockbox from the town.

The town is excited for the future of the program, and the players appreciate the town’s assistance in making it happen.

“Good for the town for bringing people together for community and trying new things,” said Minio. “I think it’s great.”

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