ONE of Australia’s fastest-growing sports, pickleball, has taken hold on the Mornington Peninsula.
The low impact sport – a cross between badminton, ping pong and tennis – emphasises players’ reflexes and ball positioning, rather than speed and power.
Julie Stuart from the Sorrento Community Centre and an avid pickleball player, said the sport had health and wellness benefits.
Stuart said pickleball has had a gradual introduction into Australia since 2015 with a small group of enthusiasts starting the first incorporated association in 2017, and the Pickleball Australia Association starting up in 2020.
There are now associations and playing groups in every state and territory, with the sport firmly entrenched on the peninsula.
Stuart said there were few things that could hold people back from playing, with the sport being gentle on joints, not too difficult, and fun.
It is played with a short-handled paddle, is usually played as doubles but can be played as singles and can be played by people of any age.
Sorrento Community Centre has three indoor pickleball courts and there are plans to form a Sorrento Pickleball Club.
“We are working with [Mornington Peninsula Shire] council in the hope of outdoor courts, which we believe would be a fantastic addition to the community,” Stuart said. “We have come and try days and we have brought school groups into the centre and put them on the courts to play, so it’s about community involvement.”
There are pickleball clubs scattered throughout the Melbourne area, and weekly sessions scheduled at various venues on the peninsula, including Sorrento, Pearcedale and Somerville.
For details email Pickleball Victoria at email@example.com