Next week’s clinic will in­tro­duce sport to Starkville area

Starkville Daily News - - SCORECARD - By DANNY P. SMITH sports@starkvilledai­lynews.com

It could be con­sid­ered a cross be­tween in­door ten­nis and ping pong.

When it comes to the de­vel­op­ing the sport la­beled pick­le­ball, Gerry Lo­gan of the Starkville Park and Recreation Depart­ment has been ex­posed to it in his pre­vi­ous stops in Clin­ton and Col­lege Sta­tion, Texas, through his work with the Se­nior Games.

He be­lieves it’s some­thing that can catch on in Starkville.

“It’s an in­ter­est­ing sport, es­pe­cially if you’ve never seen it,” Lo­gan said. “(At the Se­nior Games) Pick­le­ball was al­ways the big­gest event and the most com­pet­i­tive. Folks took it very se­ri­ously.

“When you look at it on­line, you get a lit­tle bit of in­sight into the world and peo­ple that ac­tu­ally travel all over the coun­try and play in pick­le­ball tour­na­ments. Other parts of the coun­try have some pretty nice fa­cil­i­ties ded­i­cated just to pick­le­ball. Florida has sev­eral and Utah has sev­eral large fa­cil­i­ties. It’s a pretty big deal.”

There will be an in­tro­duc­tion to pick­le­ball clinic on Tues­day at the Starkville Sport­splex inside the Travis Out­law Cen­ter.

Lo­gan said an in­di­vid­ual came into his of­fice a cou­ple of weeks ago and asked about pick­le­ball. With the Travis Out­law Cen­ter, Lo­gan felt like the SPRD had the type of fa­cil­ity to make some­thing work.

“We love to see new ac­tiv­i­ties,” Lo­gan said. “We don’t have a lot of sports and fit­ness for older adults through­out our depart­ment just yet, so it def­i­nitely fits a need. We have the court space. They want the courts for a time which is not fre­quently used and that’s in the morn­ing usu­ally. It’s just a re­ally good fit for our depart­ment.”

The clinic is free to all ages and there will be two ses­sions. The first lasts from 9 a.m. un­til 11 a.m. for early ris­ers, then an­other one in the evening from 6 p.m. un­til 8 p.m. Peo­ple in­ter­ested can at­tend one or both ses­sions. It will be an op­por­tu­nity to get in­tro­duced to the game, meet other play­ers and ac­tu­ally play the game.

Columbus has been in­volved with some pick­le­ball clin­ics at Elm Lake Golf Club and Lo­gan would like to see the idea catch on here.

“Ba­si­cally, the best thing we can do is start some­where and get as many peo­ple in­ter­ested first so you can build up a good base,” Lo­gan said. “That’s where we started and came up with the clinic.

“If you’ve never played be­fore, you’ll find it’s pretty easy to take up. I ex­pect you’ll see this group play here once or twice a week in the gym. We have some equip­ment or­dered to help that.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the clinic, con­tact Lo­gan at glo­gan@starkvilleparks.com or 662-323-2294.

(Sub­mit­ted photo)

Pick­le­ball is a sport that’s catch­ing on in cer­tain parts of the coun­try and will be in­tro­duced to Starkville on Tues­day at the Travis Out­law Cen­ter.

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