Pickleball was the sport of the day at the Caribou Wellness Center. The second annual Patriot's Day Tournament was held today. It was a chance to get a workout and have some fun.
(Matt Bouchard):" This is just a fun tournament for folks to get out and play a little bit. Patriot's Day a chance to come out and get in a little recreation."
Bouchard says the goal is for this event to continue to grow. This year they added some teams from up north
Bouchard:" Many of the same faces were back from last year. There are some new faces as well from the Edmundston Madawaska area and from Presque Isle and Caribou.
The Edmundston Madawaska area is a hotbed for pickleball. In this area the Wellness center appears to be the hub of activity with people playing almost every morning.
(Lehrle Kieffer):" It is really nice to play with some new people some different people. There are several people who play on a regular basis who are not able to be there today. We get a lot of firefighters and I understand there are a lot of firefighters who play this nationwide."
Frank Hallett has been playing the sport for several years. He started playing in Florida and started Adult Ed Pickleball in Presque Isle. He travels to Caribou to play some games and would like to see the sport become more popular in the Central Aroostook area.
(Frank Hallett):" We are hoping to get more people to come out and play. It is a lot of fun and suitable for all age levels. As you can see today we have some young people here and people like me who probably shouldn't be here. Laughing."
Hallett says the sport combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong.
Hallett:" It is similar to tennis. We play doubles here. Our games go to 11 and you have to serve in order to score.
Louise Gendreau & Cedric Gendreau of Madawaska won the Mixed doubles title and Cedric and Lynn Bourgoin of Edmundston won the random doubles draw. The event was a fund raiser for Caribou Project Graduation.
Kieffer says that this event was a lot of fun even though it was also very competitive.
Kieffer:" You got to remember PIckleball is all about the trash talk. We don't trash talk as much during the tournament time because we take it a little more seriously, but it is a lot of fun hard work good exercise and gets us out in the morning."