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Pickleball gains traction in Shrewsbury and it’s a lot of fun!

By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Rita Korzon with John Campbell

Shrewsbury – When someone says “get out of the kitchen” they might mean that they had just cleaned it or had just baked a batch of cookies. But, in the game of pickleball, the term ‘kitchen’ refers to the seven foot non-volley zone in front of the net used on the game’s court. Apparently, one should stay out of the “kitchen.”

Shrewsbury resident and avid player John Campbell recently gave a demonstration at the outdoor tennis courts at the Oak Middle School.

The demonstration was a component of the community-wide project entitled “Dancing around the Hard Topics,” a reading, viewing and discussion program focused on the book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Dr. Atul Gawande.

(l to r) Alan and Nevart Asadoorian, Leo Lodice and Travis Sullivan

“Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States,” Campbell said.

The sport has been in existence since the mid-1960s and combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong and is played with a paddle rather than a racquet and with a seamless whiffle ball. Like tennis, it can be played as singles or doubles.

It is an easy-to-learn sport that’s enjoyed by all ages. As such, there are several health benefits, particularly for seniors that include improving balance and stability, helps with memory and cognitive function, build bone density and helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

Local residents Rita Korzon, Alan and Nevart Asadoorian, Leo Lodice and Travis Sullivan were on hand for the demonstration. Korzon and Lodice were new to the game. The Asadoorians and Sullivan however, have had experience with the game. They were all having a great time.

(l to r) Rita Korzon, John Campbell, Kristen Las and Gary Grindle

“We are working with Ellen Dolan with the Shrewsbury Library as part of her community programs geared for the seniors,” shared Gary Grindle, recreation supervisor with the Parks and Recreation Department. Grindle is experienced at the game.

The project is sponsored by the Shrewsbury Public Library Foundation, the Friends of the Council on Aging, The Shrewsbury Public Library, the Shrewsbury Council on Aging, the Residence at Orchard Grove, the Shrewsbury Public Schools, Shrewsbury Parks and Recreation, Shrewsbury Media Connection, the Central Massachusetts Veterans Services District, the Central Mass. Regional Public Health Alliance, Elder Services of Worcester and the Department of Public Health, Worcester.

For more information, visit https://shrewsburyma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/5729/Dancing-Around-the-Hard-Topics-three-fold-brochure.

Photos/Melanie Petrucci

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