By Ravitej Khalsa
Pickleball comes to Espanola and it in the Sikh Community gym. Following the example of Chavez Center in Santa Fe, the little gym has added Pickleball Court lines to the Basketball Court to allow both sports to use the Gym.
Shown are the first to play Pickleball on the new court on a Saturday Morning. The Gym will continue to be used for Basketball for the Sikh Community and for kids sports training lead by Ronnie Lopez.
In the photo below you will see the portable net and 4 paddles and balls available to the community. Also shown is a ball machine used for Pickleball training and a ball picker upper for the many (wiffle style) balls used in practice.
Siri Vishnu is shown working on upgrades to the gym. Ronnie Lopez is getting walls ready for safety padding and new lighting.
The communities will share the gym. Right now Pickleball is available on Saturdays for introduction, training and games!! Those shown playing a previous Saturday were able to start playing doubles games after a short introduction with each side winning a game or two.
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the world. Started on Bainbridge Island near Seattle it has spread to the farthest reaches; Nepal, India, South America and Africa. Also very popular in US, Europe, Asia, and South America. Everywhere one may travel there will be Pickleball Courts and happy players.
Why so crazily popular? It's easy to learn. Easy to play. Easy on you. Small courts provide both ease of play and happy socialization. Can be just plain fun and also be competitive. Becomes an Olympic Sport with the LA Olympics.
The old school lettering at the gym is shown below. The large heavy duty metal lettering will be reused. What shall the gym be called using those letters? Send your ideas to the newsletter staff. A very nice Cheetah patterned professional Pickleball paddle will go to the one who comes up with the winning name for the gym!