Several Harker Heights pickleball players are packing up their paddles and hitting the road to compete in the Texas State Senior Games on Tuesday through Thursday in San Antonio.
“We want to wish Charlotte Maindelle, Sharon Driskill, Frances Killingsworth, Jo Ann Donnelly, Charlie Worthington, Bill Blackman, and Jose Hernandez the best of luck,” said Heather Cox, activities specialist.
Pickleball is a racket sport in which two single players or four doubles players use a paddle, similar but bigger than a ping-pong paddle, to hit a polymer perforated ball over a net. The sport uses the dimensions and layout of a badminton court and a net and rules similar to tennis.
According to the USA Pickleball Association, it’s one of the fastest-growing sports in America played by all ages.
“By attending the games you gain a sense of camaraderie with people from all over the state and of course you go for the challenge,” said Diane Cline, who has played in Heights for eight years. “It’s great exercise and I’ve developed a love for the sport and the people that play here.”
The Texas Senior Games have something for everyone age 50 or older with competitions in 19 sports ranging from archery to volleyball.
These games are qualifiers for the 2015 national games on July 3-16 in Minnesota.
In addition to playing in the games, Killingsworth will be inducted into the Texas State Senior Games Hall of Fame on April 5.
Pickleballers practice at the Recreation Center from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Mondays, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, and from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.