During the Jan. 3 Staff Development In-Service Day at Bains Upper Elementary School, the staff who work with physical education, Play 30 and adapted physical education were introduced to pickleball.
Pat Heurtin, with the West Feliciana Pickleball Club, along with Tom Burkhart, Mid-South Regional director of the United States of America Pickleball Association, and longtime player Gene Dykes, of Baton Rouge, took the group through the basics of the game. With the exception of Brent Didier, the adapted physical education teacher, none had played the game before.
After going through some basic skills and strokes of the game, Paul Sirchia, Preston King, Kristy Barbe, Raki Barden and Brent Didier, all participated in a doubles game with Burkhart, Dykes, and Heurtin providing tips and strategy.
Following the game experience, Heurtin, a retired physical education teacher herself, distributed examples of teaching stations for elementary age students and walked them through these station ideas.
The game of pickleball is a combination of tennis, table tennis and badminton, created in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, off the Washington coast. One of the stories says it was named for a dog named Pickles, who kept chasing the ball.