SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and whether it’s simply going on more walks, working out or playing a new sport or hobby, there’s many ways to do so.
A sport that has gained more popularity the past 10 years, especially in the Sioux Falls area, is pickleball.
Pickleball – a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong can be played by almost anybody, whether you are a beginner or have played it for years.
Bill Marlette is the president of the Sioux Falls Area Pickleball Club, which was formed in 2013. He first got involved around three and a half years ago.
“It’s kind of an addicting game. It’s competition, number one. Number two, it’s a combination of several sports, so it’s not just banging it like racquetball. It’s a little bit of squash, little bit of ping pong, little bit of tennis,” he said.
Marlette says it’s an easy sport to get started with once you learn the rules.
“The other thing is just getting a touch of the ball. How to make the ball go where you want it to and what speed. It’s more of a strategic game where you move people around and then you smash it, so it’s a little bit of everything. It’s really getting a touch of the ball,” Marlette said.
Pickleball is a sport that’s gained popularity in Sioux Fall for at least 10 years, and the Sioux Falls Pickleball Club has over 600 registered members.
“Finding places to play is becoming more and more difficult because there’s so many people. I was at Terry Redlin last night and there was almost 15 people waiting to play on six courts, so it is really expanded like I said, and a lot of younger people are starting to play,” Marlette said.
Kim Donelan is a program supervisor with the Sanford Wellness Center who was previously a personal trainer. She says they have expanded pickleball in their facilities.
“You see folks in their 20s participating with folks in their 70s and 80s and anywhere in between, and so it’s such a great cross population that’s so cool to see and so inviting,” she said.
And regardless of your age, it is a great way to stay active.
“So much research has continuously shown that any movement is good. Whether it’s for brain health Whether it’s for reducing your fall risk or avoiding injury. Whether it’s just for our mental health, improving that. So it’s so important to be active and moving,” Donelan said.
It goes beyond picking up a paddle and playing.
“A lot of people that play pickleball are always real active. I think it’s a very social sport. There’s a lot of comraderie. It’s always doubles, virtually always doubles, and it’s just a lot of fun. I’ve met a lot of different people that I wouldn’t normally meet,” Marlette said.
“Such a great activity not only for the different planes of movement that one has to operate in as they’re doing it, but also just that social support from others and building relationships,” Donelan said.
Relationships that form between people in their teens all the way to their 70s and 80s.
“In fact, this last tournament we had, we had a division that was a combination of 70 and over and 17 and under, which is actually really fun. People would come out and play with their grandkids and stuff like that. It’s growing really fast in Sioux Falls,” Marlette said.
If you would like to learn more about Sioux Falls Area Pickleball, find out how you can sign up and see their open play schedule, you can visit their website.