The recent culmination of the inaugural 2024 AARP U.S. Champions Cup in Daytona Beach marked a historic milestone for pickleball enthusiasts. Hosted by the Association of Pickleball Players (APP) at Pictona at Holly Hill in Florida, the event witnessed top-tier competition over four action-packed days.
A Record-Breaking Purse
With a record-breaking prize purse of $75,000, the tournament attracted participants from 38 states, spanning a spectrum of skill levels and age groups. From seasoned AARP Champions (50+) and AARP Masters (60+) professionals to enthusiastic amateurs aged 40 and above, the event demonstrated how inclusive and vibrant the game is right now.
Ken Herrmann, the visionary behind the APP, expressed his satisfaction with the event’s success, emphasizing the sense of community and shared passion among players:
“Not only was the event awesome, it was also very heartwarming. To see all the top AARP Champions and AARP Masters pros competing along with the hundreds of amateurs in the 40 and older brackets was terrific. There was a place for all players this weekend, and with AARP by our side, it made it that much more special.”
“The Spirit Of Competition”
Barbara Shipley, AARP’s senior vice president of brand integration, echoed these sentiments:
“We are thrilled to have worked with the APP to hold the first AARP U.S. Champions Cup,” said Barbara Shipley, AARP senior vice president of brand integration.
“The event celebrated the spirit of competition and showcased AARP’s commitment to helping people stay active at every age. Congratulations to all the participants, as well as the first-time players who came to learn, and we are grateful to the referees, volunteers, and everyone involved.”
Among the standout performances was David Spearman’s remarkable feat in the AARP Masters Division – he snagged three gold medals across men’s doubles, mixed doubles, and men’s singles categories.
Cynthia Dardis and Jenny Reifeis secured the women’s doubles title, adding to the tournament’s diverse array of accomplishments.
Reflecting on their victories, players like Scott Moore and Jennifer Dawson highlighted the fierce yet enjoyable nature of the competition.
Full tournament results are available here.
“Gold Never Gets Old”
“Gold never gets old,” Moore said following his victory with Spearman. “The competition is always tough, so it was very satisfying to get that one. The APP just does it right. They take care of us, and Pictona is a great venue – one of my favorites in the world. I love playing here in Daytona.”
“This tournament showed how strong the competition is,” said Dawson, a gold medalist in the AARP Champions Division women’s doubles, playing alongside Nathalie Bagby. “It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our talents. It’s always fun to play in APP events, and we just had a blast.”
More Thrilling Stops Along The Way
Looking ahead, the APP Tour promises more thrilling stops along the way, with upcoming events in Sacramento and Miami set to captivate pickleball enthusiasts again.
The APP continues to elevate the sport’s profile while fostering a vibrant community of players and fans with its dynamic calendar of major tournaments and signature events.
For those eager to stay updated on future events and engage with the pickleball community, the APP’s online platforms offer information and opportunities for connection.
What Next For The APP Tour?
The APP Tour returns to action in Sacramento on March 6-10 and returns to Florida on March 20-24 for the 2024 Chase APP Miami Open, the APP’s first Major tournament of the season, plus the inaugural APP Atlantic Cup, an APP Signature Event featuring Team USA against Team Europe.
More information about upcoming APP events—including Tour dates, player registration, and ticket information—is available on theapp.global. Pickleball enthusiasts can also stay in the know by following the APP on Instagram, X, Facebook, TikTok, Threads, and LinkedIn.
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