Bird Key Yacht Club members might soon become pickleball experts.
The club submitted an application to the city of Sarasota to construct six pickleball courts on its property on Wednesday, Oct. 12. General manager Robert Brown said the courts would be built on the southeastern corner of the club’s property.
“There’s been a lot of interest in it,” Brown said. “It’s the fastest growing sport in the United States right now, actually.”
Pickleball combines aspects of tennis, badminton and ping-pong and is played on badminton-sized courts with modified tennis nets. Although the sport is starting to be taught in physical education classes to kids and teenagers, it’s popularity is spreading among the country as many players enjoy the game for its social aspects, the USA Pickleball Associations’ website, usapa.org, said. The website also mentioned that there are over 15,000 indoor and outdoor courts in the U.S., and all 50 states have at least one pickleball location. The sport places less stress on the body than other activities, making it a popular sport for older residents.
Currently, Bird Key Yacht Club members enjoy a 48-slip FDEP Certified Green Marina, three Har-Tru tennis courts, bocce ball and a Junior Olympic-sized swimming pool. The club is waiting for permitting to come through before the plans for the pickleball courts are finalized.
Bird Key residents aren’t the only ones who might soon be enjoying the game, though. Once the Bayfront Park Recreation Center renovations are completed all Longboat residents can enjoy the game on new pickleball courts along with tennis, shuffleboard and basketball courts.