The Pickleball Association of Australia

By Neil Wilson - Sub Editor for the Bribie Islander


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Tags: Clubs. Groups. Bribie Island. Noosa. Brisbane

You Don’t Need A Canoe JUST A PADDLE WILL DO

No matter which way that you look at it, if someone tells you that they are involved in a sport that requires them to use a paddle, it is natural to presume that whatever that sport is, it must involve either some type of watercraft, be it either canoe kayak or paddleboard. However, if that person just happens to be either Harry or Peter Fielding, the sport that is being referred to is most likely the comparatively new activity known as Pickleball. I know you just said, “what the heck is Pickleball?”

Featured Image(above): Peter and Harry Fielding with the Pickleball paddles and ball

Well, although the sport was only introduced to Australia about three years ago by the now President of the Pickleball Association of Australia, Gabi Plum, after she had been visiting her son Morgan Evans in the USA, the game was created by a group of friends in Washington way back in 1965 and now has more than three million players throughout the country. After her return to Australia, Ms Plumm quickly spread the word and there are now about 1,500 Pickleball devotees who regularly play the game at venues throughout Western Australia and the Eastern states.

As well as there being clubs in the Brisbane, there is also one at Noosa. Adele and Harry Fielding were also motivated by Pickleball during their trip to the states and since their return, have been working, along with Harry’s brother Peter, to introduce the sport to residents of the Bribie Island area. Following a few trial games with people who they knew as a way to gauge the possible interest in Pickleball, Harry and Peter are now planning open days for anyone interested to check out the new game.

The “come and try” days will be held on November 30th and December 1st at the courts behind U3A. Whilst this will not become a permanent venue, the Bribie Pickleball Club will be using these courts as a short-term location for their games. Probably the most accurate way to describe Pickleball is to call it a form of tennis which is played on something similar to a badminton court over a net that is about the same height as one on a tennis court with a plastic hollow ball with bats that are called paddles. Due to the smaller playing area, the sport does not require the player to be as strenuous as they would have to be on a tennis court and is therefore regarded as being suited to players from a young age through to those in their very senior years.

Peter told me that the sport is being played at a number of retirement villages because of its perceived benefits. ‘Pickleball covers all the exercise components that are important for seniors,’ Peter pointed out. ‘As well as the physical benefits, there is also an important mental stimulation and the social aspect to consider,’ he said. As a rather low impact form of sport, Pickleball rules allow the player to serve underhand and, as I have previously mentioned, there is only a small area to cover on the court.

Pickleball paddles and balls

Best described as a moderate activity, the game can improve circulation and lung function as well as overall fitness and bearing in mind that health professionals claim that 150 minutes of moderate activity is needed to maintain health and prevent degeneration, Pickleball fits the bill nicely. Those who come along to the open days will be provided with the necessary equipment if they wish to join in a game and also given a few tips about the finer points by Peter and Harry.

Harry and Adele have recently attended the inaugural Australian National Pickleball Nationals where Harry picked up a medal in the men’s doubles so I reckon he knows what the game is all about. More information about Pickleball can be found at and those who would like to enquire about the upcoming open days are welcome to give Peter a call on 0401 780 928 or contact Harry on 0409 131 395. They can also be contacted by email to [email protected].

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