Today is the second day of competition at the yearly Huntsman World Senior Games – players 50 years and older compete (over 10,700 athletes competing). The pickleball entry for this tournament has been closed for months with registration limited to the first 500 players – which could bring over 1,300 matches! I wish all the players continued good luck and if you are anywhere in the area of St. George, UT this week, be sure to stop by and take in the pickleball action which lasts thru Friday, October 17.
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Here’s some very cool history on the first pickleball courts in Sun River St. George; the introduction of pickleball into Huntsman World Senior Games AND the great Don Odle for getting the job done! The following is from: SunRiver St. George Living magazine – Winter 2004
“Shortly after moving to SunRiver, Don (Odle) introduced Darcy (SunRiver St.George Development, President – at the time) to the game of pickleball. Don’s cost analysis and proposal to test out it’s viably at SunRiver included modifying two tennis courts to the smaller pickleball court dimensions. Darcy then offered Don a challenge, that if he could get the Huntsman World Senior Games organizers to agree to put pickleball into the games, that Darcy would see that the residents got their own pickleball facilities. For Don, that was like putting fuel on a fire, and off he went. Not only was Don successful in getting pickleball into the games as a demonstration sport, he and Paul Alcantra also coached enough SunRiver residents well enough to earn most of the medals awarded during the 2003 games. Since the Huntsman Games, pickleball has become the rage at SunRiver drawing more and more residents into the sport.”
This photo is from 2012 Huntsman World Senior Games – L to R: Me (Jennifer Lucore), Don Odle, JR Reynolds and Peter. Don was the main person that got pickleball into the Huntsman World Senior Games in 2003, and now look at our sport within this tournament, the venues in St. George, and the amount of players – WOW!
Want more of Don? 🙂 Check out this short video to see Don Odle in person and the importance of Staying Active Playing Pickleball.
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