Thaddea Lock, the number one ranked English female pickleball player kept her promise and went back to the Isle of Wight to run some coaching sessions for the island’s best players.
She held them over two days at the West Wight Sports and Community Centre in Freshwater on the western tip of the small island.
It wasn’t the first time she had coached there: she ran a very well-attended clinic in November last year. Simon Proffitt, 65, who organized the coaching sessions is largely responsible for the increasing popularity of the sport on the island.
This is mirrored in the way it has boomed across the whole of the United Kingdom in the last couple of years. The number of players has shot up from 4,000 in 2021 to over 7,000 in February this year. Pickleball is aiming to hit 25,000 by 2025! Read another of our stories about pickleball in the UK here.
Simon said, “As a result of having the sessions and more players attracted to the sport, the center benefits from getting much more use.
“Not only is Thaddea an outstanding player, winning four gold medals at the English Nationals, she is an outstanding coach, and, everyone taking part benefited from her coaching skills, as well as making it enjoyable.”
PICKLEBALL: England number one relished coaching weekend to enhance IW’s pickleball popularity https://t.co/ZKeph37QYE #IOW #IsleofWight #iwnews @WW_SportsCentre @MajorLeaguePB @Pickleball @TheKitchenPB @USAPickleball @PickleballCentr @pickleballuk @ThaddeaLock #pickleball— Isle of Wight County Press (@iwcponline) April 26, 2023
The Isle of Wight Sports Achievement Awards recently recognized Simon’s work and presented him with a “Making A Difference To Island Sport” award.
Thaddea paid tribute to him when she said, “Simon has done an extraordinary job of setting up pickleball on the Island — and he continues to dedicate so much time to ensure it keeps growing.
“I love coming over and had a great weekend helping the players to improve. Everyone is so friendly, welcoming, and keen to learn.
“The sports center is a brilliant facility and a key component in allowing the sport to flourish on the Island.
“I can’t wait to come back again soon. I feel really lucky to be able to be a small part of pickleball on the Isle of Wight.”
The Sports And Community Centre will hold the Pickleball Festival on Saturday, June 24. The event will cater to all skill levels and will use a “friendly tournament” format, i.e., players will team up with different partners for every 15-minute game.
Prizes will be awarded to the court winners and also to the overall winner.
The center is also searching for new pickleball coaches. a Level 1 IPTPA certificate is required and you must attend an off-island coaching course on May 7 or June 3. Please email [email protected] if you are interested.
Thaddea, 34, used to be a professional tennis player whose highest-ever ranking was 947 in July 2006.
She played her first pickleball in Kansas when she went to stay with some friends in October 2018 and her love of the game grew from there. She found a local club when she got back to the UK and hasn’t looked back.
She had a dream start to her competitive pickleball career and won the women’s singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles at her first tournament, the Scottish Open in 2019. Thaddea then won these events the following month at the English Open.
She’s currently the number 1 female player in the UK and is ranked among the very top players in Europe. Thaddea has also taken part in US tournaments, including the 2021 NP Palm Desert Amateur Open.
Her UTPR is 5.0D/5.0M/4.5S
The Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a small UK island just off the south coast of Portsmouth and Southampton. It has a surface area of about 150 square miles and a population of just over 150,000. It is famous for having been one of the last locations Jimi Hendrix played live back in the 70s – the festival attracted 600,000 people – and also holds the annual world-renowned Cowes sailing festival.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?