SHOW LOW —An enthusiastic group of about 30 local pickleball players and several Show Low city staff members gathered at 620 E McNeil, just west of the Show Low city gymnasium to celebrate the official opening of four new pickleball courts.

The original $285,000 project was part of the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) which mapped out construction of eight new pickleball courts, to occur in two phases with completion in 2022.

But pickleball players aren’t known for sitting on their laurels so they grabbed their rackets and rallied, raising almost $20,000 in contributions to help defray the six-figure cost of construction.

They also met numerous times with city staff and community services director, Jay Brimhall. Together they formed a plan to move up construction to spring/summer of this year. The result was that four of the pickleball courts would be fast-tracked for completion this fall and the other four courts would follow the original timeline.

The city’s collaboration infused with pickleball energy paid off. The first pickleball tournament called Pickleballer’s for Autism was held Saturday, Oct. 6. Approximately 30 players participated in the fundraising event.

“There’s a reason this is the number one fastest growing sport in the country,” says retired local physician, Dr. Tom Barela. “The young folks are even getting invigorated by the sport and the other nice thing about it is that the women are just as competitive as the men,” he added.

For more information about Show Low Parks & Recreation including pickleball schedules and tournaments, visit: www.showlowaz.gov.

Reach the reporter at lsingleton@wmicentral.com

Laura Singleton is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering Show Low city government, business and education.

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