Camarillo Athletics is proud to announce it has introduced Ventura County’s inaugural team-based youth pickleball league.
The creation of the league marks a significant milestone in the region’s sporting history, with the sport now firmly establishing itself as a permanent fixture after pickleball fever leaped into the public consciousness during the pandemic.
The Game’s Enduring Appeal
The Director of Pickleball at Camarillo Athletics, Alex Diaz, lauds the game’s enduring appeal for children, emphasizing its lifelong enjoyment potential:
“(The kids) can have just as much fun that the adults have been having for the past few years,” he told Zia Zografos at the Moorpark Acorn. “Adults love it because you get to meet new people and improve your mental health.”
Driven by a passion to share the joy of pickleball with the community, Diaz initiated the youth league, recognizing the rarity of such opportunities for young enthusiasts nationwide. His primary goal revolves around fostering enjoyment while nurturing crucial skills like teamwork and effective communication among participants:
“First and foremost, we want them to have fun. Being on a team will help them learn teamwork and communicate effectively,” Diaz said.
A Perfect Blend Of Mental Engagement And Physical Activity
In an era where technology often dominates children’s attention, Diaz sees pickleball as a perfect blend of mental engagement and physical activity, appealing to their cognitive and social faculties.
“Pickleball hits a completely different note in the brain when it comes to strategy and socialization,” he says. “It’s very easy to catch the pickleball ‘bug,’ as we say.”
Diaz foresees a bright future for the sport: “I think pickleball is going to be a major sport of the future in the United States,” he says.
A Pickleballing Hotspot
Camarillo Athletics is known for its indoor facilities catering to various sports like baseball and softball but recently opened its pickleball courts, and it has quickly become a hotspot for enthusiasts, according to owner Gus Sahagun.
The indoor facilities have become immensely popular among pickleball enthusiasts, attracting a diverse range of players, especially when it’s raining or too cold to play outside: “I see a lot of firemen, ex-tennis players, and amazing athletes come in to use those courts,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Initially skeptical, first and foremost because he is a lifelong baseball nut, owner Gus Sahagun found his perspective shifting as he witnessed how much his two sons were enjoying pickleball.
“They love it, and it is kind of addicting. I’m worried, to be honest, because they need to focus on baseball. But we all play (pickleball) together,” he says.
And it was seeing how much his kids were enjoying the sport that his idea of a children’s league came about. He realized that Ventura County had no competitive platform for younger players and that he could fill that void.
For Children Between 9 And 14
The season will run from February 4 to March 10, with boys and girls between the ages of nine and 14 eligible. There will be four players on each team and eight teams per division.
Registration is open now at camarilloathletics.com.
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