Ramsgate, Kent saw an influx of National Pickleball Players arrive on the Isle ahead of the UK’s First Outdoor Pickleball Championships on Sunday 11th September. The tournament was hosted at Spencer Square Tennis & Pickleball Pavilion, Ramsgate which saw the venue transform its facility to offer 8 competition Pickleball courts.
US Open Silver Medal winner Sheena Maclean-Bell and Bonita Baker-Robins from Maidstone were crowned National Champions as they battled out in the final with aspiring talent, Dane Court Grammar pupil 17 year old Harrison Wood and 21 year old Jordan Norton-Mckenzie, the three set decider was closely fought with Maclean-Bell and Baker-Robins wining 11-9 11-9 in front of a full house of spectators.
South London Area Pickleball Club Members doubles pairing Julie Mac and Faye Plummer won the Rally Challenge.
August 2016 saw the only dedicated Pickleball facility in Europe open at the Memorial Recreation Ground in Broadstairs, Kentr this dedicated facility has been funded by Thanet District Council and offers 8 courts for community use and is regularly full with a line of people waiting to play.
Players from the UK, head to Madrid this week to compete in the International Tournament where they will compete with players from all over the world.
The International tournaments youngest player will be Thanet Pickleball Club – Harrison Wood, who at just 17 is being coached and sponsored by Motiv8 Sports under the “Aspiring Talent” Programme, Motiv8 Director Clare Maclean-Bell said, Having spent time in the USA over the last two years, the UK is considerably behind with the development of Pickleball due to its emergence in the UK being pretty recent, we aim to develop young players to play the correct game of Pickleball to facilitate them to compete internationally offering a great level of skill on parity with the young talent we are seeing being developed in the USA and Canada. Harrison has shown amazing growth over the last several months, he has competed in Amsterdam in May this year as well as heading to Madrid.