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San Angelo YMCA offers the nation's fastest-growing sport

Residents can now participate this summer in the sport that has been drawing popularity over the past few years.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Summertime has begun and there are plenty of activities to participate in at the San Angelo YMCA. One of the activities being offered is pickleball.

According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, pickleball has been classified as the nation's fastest-growing sport.

Just like any sport, pickleball requires great energy and skill. The sport mirrors the games of tennis and ping-pong. It can be played with two or more players on each side of the net. Players use solid paddles to hit a light plastic pickleball over the net with only one bounce and whichever team makes it to 11 points, wins. Pickleball can be played both inside and outside and a team must win by two points. 

San Angelo resident Fawn Carey said playing pickleball gives her a chance to get active.

“I was hurt in the military and this gives me an option to get back out and be physical without the demands of a tennis court and the strenuous activities,” Carey said.

Pickleball was introduced to the YMCA three years ago right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Although the sport wasn’t very popular then, San Angelo resident Ann Woehl said she remembers hearing about the sport in 2014.

“There was an ad in the newspaper for an introduction out at Bentwood. A friend and I got matching shirts and we went out there and we learned. We loved it, we were so addicted and we played in the heat of the day, also in the cold for about a year-and-a-half,” Woehl said.

Open court pickleball this summer will happen every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. and Monday from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Chief Executive Director Angel Flores said the YMCA’s focus every summer is on youth and families.

“We try to open up our facilities and give families an opportunity to engage with one another,” Flores said.

For more information on the services the YMCA will be offering this summer, visit ymcasanangelo.org.

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