ST. FRANCISVILLE — Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country for adults. Thanks to some local enthusiasts, it’s now available two days a week at the West Feliciana Sports Park.
Pickleball combines aspects of badminton, tennis and table tennis and is played with a whiffle ball, creating a fast-paced sport that is easy to learn and great exercise.
Through Oct. 9, from 8 a.m. until noon on Tuesdays and Fridays, anyone 18 and older can play competitive pickleball under the basketball pavilion.
“It started with an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute class I taught this summer and has picked up a few more players. And I have been very pleased with the reception so far,” said Pat Heurtin, a retired Baker physical education teacher who first taught the sport to her students years ago. “If anyone is interested in learning about the game, they should come out but wear comfortable clothes and athletic shoes, and we’ll get them up to par on how to play.”
Usually 12 to 15 people from East and West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee parishes show up to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches. Many learned how to play in Heurtin’s OLLI class.
Heurtin is such an ambassador for the sport, she’s had a meeting with officials from West Feliciana schools to see about incorporating pickleball into the physical education classes.
Heurtin said they were receptive.
“The equipment is not that expensive, and it’s a game everybody can play at all ages and skill levels,” said Heurtin.
At the upcoming Louisiana Vets Fest, slated for Sept. 26 at the West Feliciana park, Heurtin said a court will be set up for people who want to play the game, and she’s hoping families come out and participate.
“I’m looking for pickleball to grow,” said Heurtin. “It’s a fun atmosphere, and we have a nice turnout.”
For information, call (225) 784-8447.