Local pickleball association raising funds for new courts

Manistee Pickleball Association is asking for community support to raise funds for new pickleball courts, located near Manistee Township Hall. (News Advocate file photo)

Manistee Pickleball Association is asking for community support to raise funds for new pickleball courts, located near Manistee Township Hall. (News Advocate file photo)

MANISTEE — Those who play pickleball say there are two versions of the story for how the iconic game got its name.

Some will tell you the name comes from the term “pickle boat,” referring to the boat that comes in last. Others say it was named after one of the founder’s family dog, Pickles, who would pick up the ball used in the game and run off the court with it.

No matter which version tells the real story, the popularity of the game is never debated: pickleball is widely considered the fastest growing sport in America, and a local group is working to promote it further in Manistee County.

The Manistee Pickleball Association has begun raising funds to construct six new pickleball courts for the community to enjoy, and association member Peggy Acton said they will be built off of two existing tennis courts.

“There are two tennis courts already there, and we’ll be adding a little bit of width and length to them to get six pickleball courts installed,” she said.

The courts are located near the Manistee Township Hall in Parkdale, and Acton said the construction will begin next year.

“It’s all set up to start as soon as the weather breaks in the spring,” she said. “Ron Brown & Sons is one of the companies we will be using to put in the asphalt, and then there’s another company who will assist with the resurfacing, to take all the cracks out and put a new paint surface on it.”

The Manistee Pickleball Association is seeking donations from the community to help raise funds for the project, which is estimated to cost approximately $85,000.

“We got a grant from the Manistee (Community) Foundation for $15,000, and we’ve raised $10,000,” Acton explained. “We have a business who donated another $10,000. We’re trying to get more businesses on board to pitch in a bit, as well as individuals.”

There will be a plaque on display when the new courts are completed, which will recognize all donations.

“We will be responsible for keeping the new courts working, and we are making sure we will be able to contribute to that as well,” said Acton.

The Manistee Pickleball Association has continued to promote the growth of the sport within the community, and they offer sessions at the Armory Youth Project, according to Acton.

“We rent the Armory four times a week, and extra money goes to an account which is used for nets and equipment,” she said. “There are so many things to get for the pickleball courts.”

Acton said there are anywhere from 10 to 25 people who participate in the pickleball sessions each day that they play, and players range in levels of experience.

“We have new people come in and we help them learn the game and help them play so they are comfortable,” she said. “It has been working out great.”

All donations for the new courts should state intent for the community pickleball project and can be directed to the Manistee Township Hall, 410 Holden St., Manistee, MI 49660.

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