The St. James Pickleball League
In the month of May, we can start playing at the outdoor courts again, behind the Jonathan Daniels School on Maple Avenue. However, if it is raining or cold (under 50 degrees), we can still play indoors at the Rec Center for the month of May only. Once June hits, we do not have access to the Rec Center gym for the summer.
If you’d like to be on the email that alerts you about where we’ll play each day in May, contact our Pickleball ambassador, Ron Farina, to get on his list.
Our Pickleball hours are:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9AM to 12Noon
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 5:00PM to 7PM (or dusk)
In March of 2017, a group of people at St. James who are up for some fun and fitness started a regular pickleball league as a way to live into our call to wholeness and wellness. They began meeting in the gym of the Keene Recreation Center on Washington Street on most Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. The group has grown exponentially, and we've gone from having just one court, to four.
If you are wondering, "What on earth is pickleball?" it is a wonderful racquet sport that is kind of a hybrid of tennis, badminton and ping pong. It is played on a badminton sized court, has a tennis-like net, and players use a whiffle ball and solid, light weight racquets, sort of like oversized ping pong paddles. People of all ages enjoy pickleball, which has the excitement of tennis without as much stress on the joints. Or, it has all the strategy of ping pong, only bigger. Or the enjoyment of badminton, only faster. The sport is becoming very, very popular in certain parts of the country. Keene's time has come.
You do not have to have ever played pickleball before to take part in our league. Many of us are total beginners. Very happily, we have our own USAPA ambassadors, Rich Kalich and Ron Farina, to coach us! (USA Pickelball Association - yes, it's a thing) If you've ever played any court or table racquet sport you'll catch on very quickly. If you haven't, it'll only take you a bit longer. You also do not need to have any equipment to play. We have everything you'll need to get started available.
We currently have almost 200 people on our emailing list and who are really enjoying the game together. If you want to learn more about pickleball, you can visit the USAPA website HERE.
Excerpts from a book written 40 years ago entitled "The Other Racquet Sports" from a chapter on Pickleball.
"….players can abandon the worries of the world and laugh during rallies without being subjected to fines or technicals. It is, in a word, sheer and refreshing fun…"
"Somewhere along the way this original concept of racquet recreation (to recreate the body and spirits) has been forgotten. The dictionary definitions of recreation are: to refresh, entertain, divert, amuse, cheer, enliven, delight, gratify, please , relieve, reanimate, and renew".In