Could you be a Pickleball coach in waiting?

Broxbourne Council is searching for a coach in waiting to pick up a paddle and bring a boost to the fast growing sport of Pickleball.

Funds from Herts Sports Partnership, which will be distributed by the Council, will pay for the volunteer to complete a level one coaching course in the fast growing racket sport, worth £160, on Saturday 10 February.

Part badminton, part tennis, and part table tennis, Pickleball was invented in 1965 in Washington state in the USA. It is played on a badminton-sized court with wooden paddles and with a soft plastic ball of a similar size to tennis.

It’s easy to pick up and fun to play for people of all ages. Underhand serves and the need for the ball to bounce once on each side before being returned opens the game up to more players and extends rallies.

The initiative comes as part of Hertfordshire’s Year of Physical Activity, which is all about getting residents to become more active and try something new.

As part of this quest, Broxbourne and the other districts in Hertfordshire have linked up with the UK Pickleball Association (UKPA) to grow the number of older adults regularly taking part in the county to 500 by the end of the year.

There are already strongholds of pickleballers in Ware, and they're spreading the word north to Letchworth and Bishop’s Stortford.

To begin the process, Herts Sport Partnership will be putting on a UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) Level 1 Pickleball coaching course as part of their annual Coach Education Week (10 to 18 February).

The course is free, in return for the volunteer agreeing to act as the Borough’s Pickleball Champion to help with the growth of the sport during 2018.

Once the local champions are trained, funding will be sourced to set up a local pilot programme leading to regular weekly sessions in each district.

Working with GB Pickleball, the ambition is to set up a day-long, inter-district competition at the Hertfordshire Sports Village in November 2018.

For further details, please contact Chris Samways on c.samways@herts.ac.uk

Image credit: TheVillagesFL