The nation’s capital has seen a huge rise in pickleball recently. From a recent $750 million pickleball court project announced by Mayor Muriel Bowser to having their very own Major League Pickleball team, the Washington, DC pickleball scene is taking off!
A local club based in Arlington, the Iron Paddles Pickleball Club, is dedicated to contributing to the sport’s growth not just in the DMV area, but throughout the nation. The organization currently has 115 members who help set up clinics, tournaments and league events throughout the DC area.
In a recent interview with ARLnow, Iron Paddles co-founder Jimmy Brown made it clear that the club has ambitions to become one of the biggest pickleball organizations in the nation.
“When people think of pickleball, we want to be the first organization that comes to mind. From clinics to unique events… to pop-up tournaments to individual lessons, we want to be the brand that people think about three years from now when they think about pickleball in this country.”
The club initially began about two and a half years ago when a small group of locals was looking for an athletic outlet during the pandemic. Now, about 80% of their current member population is based in Arlington and Alexandria, but they are branching out into Woodbridge, Maryland, and the greater DMV area.
The Iron Paddles call the Walter Reed Community Center their home court, and they can be found there playing or hosting a clinic just about any day of the week. However, because of the sport’s ongoing growth, the courts there can quickly become packed.
Struggling to find court space has been an ongoing issue across the nation, but also presents the opportunity for new venues to be established. DC recently saw the opening of the massive Kraken Pickleball Facility, which has 14 regulation-sized courts, private cabanas, and tons of other accommodations for hosting your very own pickleball tournament!
The Iron Paddles hope that their organization can help grow the sport in a way that encourages more court expansions and development. Brown has seen the club grow exponentially since it was first founded, and now almost all of their lessons, clinics, and tournaments end up being at full capacity.
On May 13, the Iron Paddles will be taking on two of pickleball’s top pros, Anna Bright and Brooke Buckner, in their Pro’s vs. 5.0’s event. Four Iron Paddles men’s doubles teams will have the chance to play against the Bright and Buckner duo, as well as in two singles matches, at the Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria, VA.
Brown believes that the pros are likely to win every match, but taking them down was never the goal. He hopes that the event brings out a huge local crowd and encourages people to connect with the Iron Paddles organization.
Check out the Iron Paddles Pickleball Club website for more information about how to get involved and about the Pro’s vs. 5.0’s event featuring Anna Bright and Brooke Buckner.
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