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When the basketball court at the Indian River Complex was set to be resurfaced, the Parks & Recreation Department elected to expand the court’s utility by adding lining for pickleball courts. (Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
A portable net as well and pickleball racquets and balls are available from the Parks & Recreation Department at Clinton’s Indian River Complex. (Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
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The wait is finally over: Clinton has officially added a pickleball court for people looking to jump into the popular sport's trend sweeping the area.
Pickleball is a racket sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Each player uses a solid paddle to hit a plastic ball with holes in it back and forth across the net. Because the courts are half the size of a standard tennis court, they’re often overlaid on existing tennis courts or, in Clinton’s case, painted on the basketball court at the Indian River Complex located at 201 Killingworth Turnpike.
“We’ve received a number of inquiries asking if we had pickleball courts,” said Parks & Recreation Department Director Robert Potter. “A lot of new people that moved to town have asked, too.”
Potter said the calls have been coming in for the last year and a half. Pickleball has become increasingly popular on the shoreline, especially among older athletes.
“It’s not a difficult sport by any means,” said Potter.
Potter said that the court in Clinton is officially opened, and that soon there will be designated times where the court is reserved specifically for pickle ball.
“We’re going to gauge interest first and get a feel for the demand,” Potter said.
The times for the pickleball will be posted on the Parks & Rec website, parkrec.clintonct.org. Additionally, Potter said that people may call the Parks & Rec office to ask if anyone is using the basketball court—if the court is free, staff will reserve the court for the caller.
“We’ll provide the paddles and balls, people just need to sign them out,” Potter said.
Potter is eager to let people know the court is open.
“There’s a few people that are dying to get playing,” Potter said.
Potter said he got the idea for the pickleball court after visiting a colleague in Guilford, and he observed that Guilford also had its court set up on a basketball court. Since the basketball court at the Indian River Complex was due to be resurfaced, the department decided to add the lines for the pickleball court in June.
Potter said it’s possible that the town will eventually more courts in town. Potter said the Ethel Peters Recreation Complex was due for renovation and suggested that complex as a possible location for future courts.
As for other plans, Potter “We’d really like to host a tournament.”
While the court is already opened, Potter said he plans to officially dedicate the court with a special pickleball match between the members of the Parks & Recreation Commission and the Board of Selectmen members at a future date.
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