Tales From The Boulevard: Visitors To The Unique Spectator Area Tell Their Stories
The 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships at Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch, TX, is doing a great job of showcasing the fervor for America’s fastest-growing sport.
Participants from around the world have converged to participate in the world’s largest pickleball event to date.
The Hanlons Of Indiana
One of the main attractions is actually off-court: The vibrant “Pickleball Boulevard” offers a diverse range of activities, from musical performances to culinary experiences, interactive games, kid-friendly pursuits, and more.
Among the competitors is the Hanlon Family from Indiana, who attracted plenty of admiring glances adorned in matching bright red T-shirts depicting a Lego man engaged in pickleball.
Parents Tim and Christy, accompanied by four of their five children, are competing in various divisions. Tim said, “I asked for a net for Father’s Day or a birthday, and we started playing as a family.”
“This is how we get our exercise. It allows us to stick together and travel together. We’ve been almost all over the world together, so it’s been a lot of fun. To be able to play pickleball all together and travel together has been really exciting.”
Joshua, one of the Hanlon children, chipped in, “It also makes finding a partner really easy. They’re built into the family.”
Guy Tetreault and Celine Caron journeyed from Drummondville, Quebec, for their third appearance at Nationals, competing in 3.5 singles, doubles, and mixed doubles in the 60+ age category.
They said how proud they were of fellow “Québécois” Catherine Parenteau, World No. 2 in pickleball, who hails from Repentigny near Drummondville.
“She did some teaching in Drummondville, so we were her students,” said Guy.
Sun City, Texas
Kathy Carr and Barb Patterson, a doubles pair from Sun City, Texas, emphasized the camaraderie and friendship that define their pickleball experience.
Patterson stated, “Without a doubt, one of the best things about pickleball is the camaraderie and that I get to play with one of my best friends. We have a whole bunch of friends in Sun City, some of whom are here today, and it’s just about the friendship.
“Our club motto is ‘Fun, Friends and Fitness.’ That wraps it up for me. It’s nice to win, and it’s fun, but I get more joy out of making friends and having fun on the court.”
Carr echoed this sentiment, highlighting the inclusivity of pickleball, where age is no barrier to participation: “You can’t age out of the sport.
“As long as you can stand up, you can play. There’s people who have never played any type of racquet sport in their lives, and they’re learning how to play pickleball, getting energized, getting exercise, and socializing.”
Las Cruce, New Mexico
Beverly Boozer and Carol Scherick, hailing from Las Cruces, New Mexico, made their debut at Nationals in matching neon pink attire, eager to compete in the women’s 4.0 bracket for ages 60-64.
Scherick emphasized that pickleball is a sport for all ages, genders, and families.
These individuals exemplify the essence of pickleball, which centers around health, community, and enjoyment.
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