Van Buren Bringing The Sport of Pickleball To The Community

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 7:14 PM EDT
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VAN BUREN, Maine (WAGM) - With Fall Sports Starting up, Most of the attention will be on sports like soccer and golf. But Recently, Van Buren renovated their pickleball and tennis courts in order to continue to build up the growing interest in the sport of Pickleball. Jonathon Eigenmann has the story.

Luke Dyer- " Been Hearing a lot about Pickleball in our community from community members that are playing everywhere. Except Van Buren, because we didn’t have pickleball courts. The high school did have some indoor courts painted in one of the gyms upstairs but for the most part our community members have been playing in caribou on a weekly basis, their playing in Madawaska, there playing in Edmundston, there traveling to tournaments down stat, but we just didn’t have the facility for them to play”.

Luke Dyer, The Town Manager of Van Buren, decided it was time to use ice skating rink that is not in use at this time of year, to build two pickleball courts for the community to enjoy. All the Renovations and equipment for the pickleball courts will be brand new and Dyer is excited for the interest this will bring to the community, a community that is already deeply invested into the fastest growing sport in America.

Luke Dyer- " Its serves all ages of the community, its kind of a combination of I guess tennis and ping pong I guess, it’s a smaller racket, when your playing in twos, the court is much smaller then an actual tennis court. A lot of Elderly people enjoy playing, a lot of middle-age people enjoy playing, it doesn’t require a tremendous amount of running around like tennis does when your playing singles tennis.

And This weekend the Van Buren Parks and Rec Department is hosting their 1st County Pickleball Championship. Registration for the tournament will begin at 8 am with teams being picked from a hat draw. , along with the tournament, there will be food truck, bounce houses for the kids, craft fair and more going around the time the tournament will take place. Ending with the Inductees for the Van Buren High school athletic hall of fame.

Luke Dyer- " We knew a lot of people would be coming to our community from the outside, we wanted to host an event that would draw some interest during the day, so that there was kind of something going on the whole day and into the evening during the; the finale really being the inductees to the hall of fame”.

Everyone seems excited for this Saturday, and dyer hopes the building and renovations that they are doing, will bring the community together and get them outdoors as well as entice new and current pickleball players to compete in Van Buren.

Luke Dyer- " Were really hoping to introduce the sport this weekend to some new people which is pretty important cause once we get them involved it will only make it grow in popularity in our community; we just don’t want them have to leave our community to participate in these events, we want to have it offered here”.

All that is left to make sure the courts are ready for the tournament and to make it a great experience for the competitors in hopes of having more in the future.

Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource Sports.