Last week, it was announced that Staten Island has arranged to host two pickleball tournaments for public middle and high school students in the upcoming months. Borough President Vito Fossella revealed this during a press conference at the Michal J. Petrides Educational Complex in Sunnyside.
Pickleball is being embraced nationwide by people of all ages, with a recent widening demographic, including many children and young adults. Whether you’re trying to stay active, make new friends, or become the best at the sport, pickleball is becoming a go-to sport for Americans of all backgrounds. According to the SFIA’s recent State of Pickleball report, the pickleball player population has increased by an impressive 85.7% year-over-year, with a cumulative increase of 263.5% since 2014.
Staten Island to host 2 pickleball tournaments for public school students this fall https://t.co/78Ex0PSRA4— SIAdvance (@siadvance) September 29, 2023
“We look forward to contributing to the expansion of this sports culture phenomenon for the enjoyment of all Staten Islanders,” stated Borough Hall in an in-person press release announcing the tournaments, which is an impressive move forward for the New York Suburb.
“We see that pickleball has become the rage; perhaps it is among the fastest-growing sports in the country,” said Borough President Vito Fosella. Pickleball has gained significant popularity recently and is considered one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. These upcoming tournaments mark a notable development in the neighborhood sports landscape of Staten Island.
The two tournaments, the first of their kind tailored towards students on the island, are open to all middle and high school students. The aim is to introduce students to pickleball and encourage participation in this inclusive and quick-to-adopt sport.
The high school tournament, organized by Alan Lewin from the Department of Education’s Office of Student Services, is scheduled at Petrides on October 28th. The intermediate-level game, overseen by Nicholas Mele, principal of Edwin Markham Intermediate School in Graniteville, will involve middle schools across Staten Island and is set for November 8th.
“It’s really to spark interest in pickleball, and we hope that in the springtime, more students will be able to participate.”Nicholas Mele, Principal of Edwin Markham Intermediate School
To participate in these tournaments, students can register through their respective schools. School principals will organize teams and manage their school’s registration process, including setting deadlines.
During the press conference, President Fosello mentioned the potential for introducing pickleball as an official PSAL (Public Schools Athletic League) sport at both high and middle school levels. He also noted the ongoing efforts to increase the number of pickleball courts on Staten Island in collaboration with the city Parks Department.
This is one of many pickleball-related events to hit Staten Island. In July, President Fossella introduced The Borough President’s Pickleball Cup, a unique inaugural tournament co-sponsored by USA Pickleball. The upcoming two-day event is scheduled for October 7th and 8th at the College of Staten Island, Willowbrook.
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