Anna Leigh Waters and Catherine Parenteau are probably the most successful female doubles team we’ve seen in pickleball recently, but they’ve now got competition! Ann Cuadrado and Joyce Bielarski, both in their 70s and residents of Claremont, New Hampshire, are another formidable duo you might want to think twice about facing on the pickleball court.
A Fierce Determination To Win
These experienced players are well-known in their community for their competitive yet friendly nature. They play with intensity, fairness, and a fierce determination to win. However, competitive players who want to enjoy themselves and improve their game will find them perfect opponents.
Western New Hampshire has various pickleball locations, such as Claremont itself, Newbury, Lebanon, and Springfield (just over the border into eastern Vermont).
Claremont, in particular, boasts a thriving pickleball scene, with the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center offering court time on several days of the week (see below for more information). It is common to spot Ann and Joyce there, striving to add more victories to their impressive records.
A Backyard Pickleball Court
Ann also has a pickleball court at her home, frequently inviting friends for morning matches. Joyce, who happens to be one of Ann’s neighbors, is always ready for a game!
The journey into pickleball for Ann and her late husband Steve began 10 years ago when they started spending winters in Florida, and it was there they discovered their love for the sport.
In 2017, Steve, a long-time Claremont resident, had the brilliant idea of installing a pickleball court in their backyard. Although Ann initially had some reservations about the decision, fearing it might disturb the neighbors or compromise the beauty of their yard, she now wholeheartedly acknowledges that it was one of the best choices they ever made.
She says, “Now that my husband is no longer with us, the pickleball court is a tribute to him and a lovely reminder of his boundless energy and his love of the sport. He would be so tickled to know that we continue to enjoy the court regularly with friends and family.”
After Steve’s passing, the court became a heartfelt tribute to him, a reminder of his passion for the sport, and a space where Ann enjoys playing with friends and family.
Pickleball Keeps You Young At Heart!
Joyce, on the other hand, had never heard of pickleball until Steve invited her to play while she was out walking in the neighborhood one day.
Despite being active, pickleball was a great new discovery for her, and she embraced the game wholeheartedly. Joyce now plays seven to eight hours per week at the community center and Ann’s house.
Ann and Joyce credit pickleball as a great way to stay young at heart and strengthen their friendship. Although they were friendly neighbors before, the countless games in Ann’s backyard truly solidified their close bond.
With its small court and being mostly played in doubles, pickleball’s intimate nature fosters camaraderie, friendly banter, and even some good-natured trash-talking among the four players.
The atmosphere on Ann’s court is often filled with laughter, earning it the playful nickname “cackleball” from one of her neighbors!
Claremont Savings Bank Community Center
Claremont Savings Bank Community Center is home to a 25-yard indoor pool, teaching area pool, elevated track, basketball courts, fitness facility, aerobics room, multi-function rooms, conference room, game room, shower and locker rooms, and kitchen.
Every patron must have a pass or purchase a day-use pass and check in at the front desk at the entrance of the building. These passes are available to Claremont residents and non-residents. All rates can be viewed in the facility brochure located at the top of the home page.
The center has three indoor acrylic courts with permanent lines. Portable nets are available, and players have access to restrooms, water, and lights. A one-time fee is required to play.
Location and contact details: 152 South St, Claremont, NH 03743, USA; Tel: (603) 542-7019.
Read more of our stories about pickleball and New Hampshire here.
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