Volunteer expanding Pickleball across metro area

Pickleball helps people get active

Arvada, Colo. -  

It is bigger than ping pong; smaller than tennis; similar to badminton; and a little like racquetball. It is Pickleball.

"Pickleball was started in 1965 by a congressman from Seattle," said Ken Marquardt.

And that congressman found his dog "Pickles" would constantly chase the ball. The name stuck and the popularity grew.

Just ask Pickleball Ken Marquardt.

He is an accomplished player and a Pickleball Ambassador. That means he volunteers to organize games in the north metro.

 "When I started in Westminster we had eight of us and now we have 525 who have played," said Marquardt.

People play Pickleball because it is fun; it is social; and it makes people feel better.

"I hate to exercise, but I love playing Pickleball," said Marquardt.

"I came to pickleball and I decided this was a lot more fun than the treadmill," said Margaret Melander, Pickleball player.

It is hard to tell Melander is battling Parkinson's Disease. She plays Pickleball three times a week, sometimes three hours at a time.

"It is good for my reflexes, it is good for my balance," said Melander.

"On my birthday when I was 70 I found out I had pancreatic cancer," said Robert Waybright.

Pickleball helps Robert Waybright think about something other than his illness.

"If you play it a few times a week it gives you some self confidence," said Waybright.

No one believes pickleball is a cure for anything except maybe boredom. But thanks to organizers like Ken Marquardt it has got a lot more people off staying active.

"Look at everybody smiling and having fun, that's where it's at!" said Marquardt.

To learn more about Pickleball go to www.usapa.prg

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