The World Pickleball Federation (WPF) showcased three significant exhibitions recently in connection with the 2023 Asian Games.
The first event in Dongying, located 210 miles southeast of Beijing, was held at a well-equipped gymnasium adorned with WPF banners. It brought together pickleball enthusiasts and dignitaries for a day of high pickleballing skill together with a notable sense of camaraderie.
A Warm Welcome
The WPF team, arriving from Beijing, received a warm welcome with the dramatic backdrop of pickleballing action displayed on a giant screen TV courtesy of the WPF.
The route to the venue was lined with distinctive WPF banners, which all added to the incredible experience. However, even this paled into insignificance compared to the extraordinary welcome the WPF team received from the 900 eager spectators as they arrived at the gym.
Inside the field house, pickleball posters adorned the walls, creating a vibrant atmosphere with a sizable staging area and a prominent TV monitor, both adding to the grandeur of the event.
The second exhibition, an exclusive event in Beijing’s Water Cube Arena, attracted high-ranking government officials and dignitaries.
The final exhibition took place in Hebi’s Olympic arena, the site of the Olympic Badminton competition. This event attracted an audience of approximately 2,000 spectators and reached 4.8 million viewers within the first hour of the national live broadcast, making it the most-watched live event in pickleball history.
The Significance Of Pickleball
Dignitaries from various fields delivered speeches during the exhibitions, emphasizing the significance of pickleball in the global sports landscape.
Seymour Rifkind (Rif), President of WPF, and Allen Zang, Director of WPF Global Development, also talked about the sport’s rich history and highlighted why pickleball has become the fastest-growing sport in the United States and other countries.
The exhibitions featured thrilling matches, showcasing singles and doubles games, including mixed and same-gender play. The players demonstrated exceptional skill and sportsmanship, captivating the audience with their agility and finesse on the court.
The exhibitions showcased the all-inclusive nature of pickleball, with players of diverse ages and backgrounds coming together to celebrate the sport. The enthusiastic participation of the spectators, many of whom joined the players on the court, reflected the universal appeal of pickleball and its ability to foster camaraderie.
Over 600,000 Viewers
Pickleball’s infectious energy permeated the venues, creating an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm.
The first event reached a global audience, with live broadcasts attracting over 600,000 viewers, allowing pickleball enthusiasts worldwide to join in the celebration of this remarkable sport.
The World Pickleball Federation extends its gratitude to the city of Dongying and Seymour Rifkind (Rif), WPF President said, “We extend our deepest gratitude to the players, sponsors, and hosts for their invaluable contributions to these exhibitions.
“Your support has not only elevated the sport of pickleball but has also strengthened the bonds of friendship and sportsmanship between nations. We are truly grateful for your dedication and enthusiasm.”
WPF acknowledges the remarkable contributions of the following players:
– Roos Van Reek (Netherlands): #1 Netherlands ladies player
– Ludovica Sciaky (Italy): #1 Italian Ladies player
– Jai Grewal (New Zealand): #1 New Zealand player
– Mike Newell (Australia): Top Australian player
– Emilia Schmidt (Australia): Top Australian ladies player
– Oliver (Ollie) Gray (Australia): # 1 Australian Junior
About The World Pickleball Federation
The World Pickleball Federation (WPF) is the international governing body of pickleball and a leading global organization dedicated to promoting and developing the sport.
With a mission to foster inclusivity, sportsmanship, and excellence, WPF organizes events, supports athletes, and spreads the joy of pickleball to enthusiasts worldwide.
For more information, visit worldpickleballfederation.org.
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