Pickleball court campaign in Glenwood gaining momentum

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

The construction of an outdoor pickleball complex in Glenwood is moving closer to becoming a reality.

The Southwest Iowa Pickleball Committee has now solicited over $25,000 in donations and pledges to help turn the city’s deteriorated tennis courts on South Vine Street into a six-court pickleball complex.

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the nation that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis - utilizing paddles and plastic balls (similar to a wiffle ball). The sport can be played as singles or doubles competition on a badminton-sized court and is gaining popularity among all ages. The sport can be played indoors or outdoors. There are more than 15,000 pickleball courts nationwide.

The cost of constructing the pickleball courts in Glenwood with high-quality, post-tension concrete is estimated at $150,000. The city of Glenwood is donating over $20,000 for removal of the old tennis courts and other services to facilitate the upgrade.

Mills County and the Glenwood Community School District will also be approached about being partners in the project. Dr. Jacque Young, a member of the Southwest Iowa Pickleball Committee, said the sport is already being integrated into school district physical education programs, noting “24-30 P.E. students could play pickleball at one time on the new courts providing an excellent work out.”

The pickleball committee is also pursuing grants to help the fund the project.

Glenwood-area residents interested in learning more about the sport are encouraged to attend a free pickleball exhibition Sunday, Jan. 14, from 1-3 p.m., at the Mills County YMCA. Young said those in attendance will be able to watch exhibition pickleball games and those who want to give the sport a try will be allowed to take part in doubles competition with an experienced player.

Young said those who attend the exhibition will be impressed.

“They’ll realize that it’s fun, great exercise and addicting,” she said.

Pickleball is currently being played indoors in Glenwood at two sites -  the YMCA on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and the Meyer Building Gymnasium on the campus of the Glenwood Resource Center on Tuesdays from 6 – 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Any person or community organization interested in making a pledge or donation to the pickleball court project can pick up an informational flyer/pledge form at Glenwood City Hall or send an e-mail to swipb@yahoo.com.