Hello pickleball world!
With players from 10 countries participating, the first annual
International Pickleball Tournament 2015 held in Madrid, Spain is now in the history books. This was an extra special pickleball adventure for me for many reasons, but a couple highlights include traveling to beautiful Spain and getting to play Pickleball in new place (country!), and I got to play with my dad (Bob Youngren) in mixed doubles and my mom (Bev Youngren) in doubles. The tournament, the venue, the players and the culture were the best! So many new friends; some with a language I don’t speak, but Pickleball became the universal language.
The International Pickleball Tournament took place at “La Chopera” sport center where 23 courts were set up. This sports center is located in Buen Retiro Park which is the largest park in the city of Madrid at 350 acres. On the below video (Part 1 of 2) you can see how unique the park and venue are. Friday, September 18 was a practice day that included skill and strategy clinics run by me and my dad, as well as a referee clinic run by USAPA President David Jordan. Saturday was doubles and Sunday was mixed doubles. Tournament results can be found on the Spanish Pickleball Association webpage.
Global Growth of Pickleball
At the official tournament dinner held the preceding Friday night, International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) President David Jordan inducted two new Associations into the IFP: The UK Pickleball Association (www.pickleball.org.uk) and the French Pickleball Association (www.pickleballfrance.org). These Associations join existing IFP members: USA, Canada, Spain and India. Yes, pickleball is growing….. fast!
Mike Hess, the president of Pickleball Spain shared how the media has embraced this new sport. “Spain’s largest sport magazine called Marca published two articles on the tournament and pickleball’s growth in Europe. The first article announced the international tournament. The second article (see top photo) was published after the tournament and featured an action photo of father and daughter tournament Gold Medalists Jennifer Lucore and Bob Youngren, as well as an interview with Jennifer, who won two gold medals at the tournament.” It is always awesome when the local media shares the details of the sport we all love so much.
I hope you enjoy this video as it was fun to make and brought back some great, not to distant memories. Stay tuned for video and blog post Part 2 of 2 because there I’ll have personal interviews with players from 8 countries and they share why they like pickleball, plus more!!
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17 comments on “International Pickleball Tournament 2015, Part 1 of 2”
Glad you got the opportunity to play with your parents! What a best adventure summed up to a catchy music: Pickleball continues to travel to new heights & I can’t imagine anyone else leading it than you!!!
Jennifer, we would also like to say how much we enjoyed our trip to Madrid learning so much from you and Bob. WOW! Not only did we learn alot that we have incorporated into our game (or like Jimmy said – trying) but getting to know you and the entire family. We do hope that we would see you in our hometown of TELLICO someday.
Jennifer, good time in Spain, see you at nationals. Mike
Ditto on everything Rich Karakis said. What a great experience Ann and I had on the Spain trip. We have since incorporated (or tried) all the tactics you and Bob taught us. Tell your mom and dad we enjoyed meeting and playing Pickleball with them. We especially enjoyed hanging out with Brandon. What a great guy you have. All y’all are welcome at Tellico village anytime you want to come. Our pickleball club is growing with leaps and bounds. It is becoming more and more difficult to schedule courts. This sport is definately growing in East Tennessee.
Hope to see you soon.
Jimmy & Ann lewellen
Jimmy, thanks for the comments. I am so happy East Tennessee has got it going on! Now, just a reminder Jimmy to keep your power game but… remember to add some soft touches and shots in there to really keep your opponents on their toe 🙂 it will throw your friends off when they see that soft angle shot.. LOL Hugs to you and Ann.
Laura and I echo all the comment above. Great video to remind us of a wonderful time- almost a challenge to East Tennessee. Thank you!
Hi Jen, so nice to meet you and your family, I really enjoyed the tournament and the coaching sessions look forward to playing you in the future
Thanks so much Susie – keep loving your pickleball!!
Thanks Jenn for helping us revive these great days we spent in Madrid, hoping that one day, the South of France will be able to attract you and your parents to spend some time teaching our growing Pickleball community!
Pierre, I am glad you liked the video, and yes helps us remember the fun. I know my dad enjoyed talking to you in length about how to spread pickleball in your area… Just keep plugging away, things will happen. And YES pickleball in the South of France…. sounds wonderful!! 🙂
Great video of the Madrid tournament. I hope you don’t mind, I have attached a link to our website as there are a number of UK participants appearing in it. You included a photo of all the ladies 19+ medal winners, which included a participant from the UK. Because of the time matches went onto, no one I have found managed to take a photo. Would it be possible for you to send me a copy so I can include it on our website.
I’m looking forward to seeing part 2.
It was great to meet up with the Pickleball Family Youngren in Madrid.
Hello Ian, thanks for the comment! I will email you the photo and more info… Hope to make it to the UK someday – would be great to play with you guys!
I know I’m speaking for our entire gang from Tellico Village when I say that you and your family made the tour and tournament extra special for all of us. It was good getting to know all of you, and we’re counting on y’all getting down here some day — but ONLY if you bring Brandon with you!
Hope that your cruise was everything that you wanted it to be.
Hello Rich, thanks for the kind words…. Both the Lucores and Youngrens think your Tennessee groups is the BEST… I’ll see you when you come to San Diego some day – but ONLY if you bring Elaine with you! Ha Ha 🙂
Fun Video, Jenn! What a great adventure summed up to a catchy song:~) Pickleball continues to travel to new heights & I can’t imagine anyone else leading it than you!!! Congrats….& glad you got the opportunity to play with your parents….how SPECIAL is that?!?!?!?!!!!
Fun to also see our new pballer buddy Carlos in his own country after just playing at TOC! What a great guy:~)
Hello Steph, thanks so much for the great comments! Yes, what a special time to play with each of my parents – PRICELESS. And Yes – Carlos is a pickelball stud 🙂 he is helping Madrid get their pickleball on! See you on the courts!
Great video Jennifer!