Pickleball takes Alberton by storm

Pickleball, as a sport and social pastime, is a great new way to get active.

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is a racket or paddle sport where two to four players hit a perforated, hollow ball called a whiff ball and has a similar format to tennis.

Pickleball originated as a children’s backyard game in the USA. The sport has gained traction in SA as a social game among friends and family.

Awaiting the oppositions’ serve. Photo: Tex Lerena

Pickleball in Johannesburg south

Tex Lerena, an Alberton local, took it upon himself to create awareness about pickleball and showcase its values to people of all ages.

Lerena uses the Alberton Tennis Club to train the club’s young tennis players to nurture their skills and have fun.
It can be a fun social game or a competitive technical sport. Elderly people can play pickleball for exercise, and the youth can play it for fun.

Lerena spoke fondly about how he discovered pickleball and what made him grow to enjoy it.

A mixed doubles match. Photo: Tex Lerena

“I was introduced to it two years ago at the Wendywood Tennis Club, immediately saw the skill involved in it, and noticed how accessible, affordable, and just loads of fun pickleball can be,” he said.

“It is playable for most people and an amazing game for youngsters wanting to use it as a stepping stone for other racket sports or older people wanting to exercise. Via the USA team, I think pickleball can be an Olympic sport, but in SA, we need to popularise it,” Lerena concluded.

All about pickleball. Photo: Alberton Tennis Club
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