Pickleball comes to Shrewsbury

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

(l to r) John Campbell, George Fortier, Tom Hays, Howard Vinnes, Eve Choi, Alex Fleischman and Detlef Rethage

Shrewsbury – With a beautiful backdrop of fall colors, Shrewsbury’s “inaugural” pickleball match was played Sept. 29 on the courts at the Calvin Coolidge Elementary School. Pickleball is now available on existing tennis courts marked with pickleball courts and removable nets are on site supplied by Shrewsbury Parks & Recreation.

Shrewsbury resident John Campbell was among the first to play on the court. He had been advocating for pickleball courts to be installed in town for several years.  

“I want to especially thank the Shrewsbury Parks & Rec. department for installing four great courts at the Coolidge School,” he remarked. “I think it’s going to be a big plus for Shrewsbury. Our first day we’ve already got eight players. It’s going to pick up from here.”

Using elements of tennis and badminton, the game involves two to four players playing on a court roughly a quarter of the size of a tennis court. The nets are smaller and the ball is perforated, and instead of a racquet, the players use a solid paddle.

(l to r) Howard Vinnes, John Campbell, Detlef Rethage and Eve Choi

Gary Grindle, manager of Shrewsbury Parks & Recreation, said that Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports. 

“It’s huge,” he noted. “In the spring is when we are going to start looking at some pickleball programming…and start looking at different options.”

Campbell shared that it is a great sport for seniors as it is easier on the knees and shoulders than tennis. And it’s not just for seniors – he said some schools are starting to offer the sport.

“I also want to thank Town Manager Kevin Mizikar and Angela Snell and Gary Grindle for listening to us and installing these pickleball courts,” he added.

“I’m so excited. This is just great; I love this game,” stated resident Sherry Brooks who stopped by to wish the players well. “It’s pretty hard not to get hooked when you start, so having these courts in Shrewsbury is just the best.”

Photos/Melanie Petrucci