Pickleball has taken off in Concord, MA and its rapid adoption among the community can be traced back to Sandy Nash and Robin Silver who liken the sport’s popularity to a “movement.” The two women were familiar with other paddle/racquet sports such as tennis, squash and ping-pong and when they heard about the new sport over five years ago, they thought they should give it a go. They were hooked after a round robin get together and found that because of their age and being injury prone that the game offered a low barrier for entry: a light paddle which was easier to swing and much less running on the small court.
Sandy went on to lead a women’s pickleball group which today presently has 40 – 50 players participating each week in round robins. She even convinced a local private school to switch from offering squash to pickleball. The pair, when they can, offer introductory clinics for anyone interested in learning the sport in town. There are opportunities at these clinics for people to play with a pickleball professional in the weekly rotations to help them improve. Some of the tennis courts in town have been updated with proper pickleball lines and the town has voted to double the number of courts available. All this momentum has now led to a pickleball classic that Robin hosted in May this year to benefit the Concord Carlisle High School tennis teams.
This fundraising tournament was supported in part by the team here at Baddle, a pickleball brand Sandy Nash loves and one that loves her back! Our partnership began earlier this year when we donated 200 balls and 20+ paddles for a school sports program run by Sandy. She put us in touch with Robin Silver Grace to support the tournament benefit and all players who participated received a Baddle pickleball among other items in a gift bag.
Fueled by a passion to try new things and a penchant for good racquet skills, this pair has launched a pickleball craze in their town and there seems to be no stopping them. If you’re eager to start your own pickleball bandwagon, take their advice and just encourage your friends to play. They’re certain you’ll find a following in your town, too.
And if you're hosting or playing in a tournament, let us know! We'd love to donate the pickleballs for it.