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Donation To Support S. Utah Youth Pickleball

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Youth physical education organizers in Southern Utah received money from a national organization to help promote a popular recreational sports program. 

The game pickleball was created in 1965 and is played in a doubles badminton-sized court where players paddle a polymer pickleball across the center net.

“Sounds like a bunch of popcorn going off out there, a little higher pitch popcorn sounds,” said Wayne Bullock, St. George Head Tennis/Pickleball Pro.

The competitive game is one of America's fastest growing leisure sports, especially among senior athletes.

“I started out on four courts. We are doing tournaments in the dirt, no outlets, and the bathrooms are 200 yards away from us and we are trying to build this program,” he said. “And a year and a half later we are in this twelve court facility and then a couple of years later, we have this beautiful 24 court facility.”

In April the USA Pickleball Association held the West Regional Tournament at the Little Valley Pickleball Facility in St. George. Now, the association is donating money to the Southern Utah program to encourage youth to carry on the tradition.

“Which is fantastic because they recognize that the youth are the ones that are going to continue to grow and build this sport,” said Bullock.

Bullock says the $2,500 donation will be used to purchase equipment and offer scholarships for young players to receive pickleball lesson.

In October the city will hold the Fall Brawl pickleball tournament. 

Other cities in Utah are installing pickleball courts. Brigham City will dedicate a news facility next week.

At 14-years-old, Kerry began working as a reporter for KVEL “The Hot One” in Vernal, Utah. Her radio news interests led her to Logan where she became news director for KBLQ while attending Utah State University. She graduated USU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and spent the next few years working for Utah Public Radio. Leaving UPR in 1993 she spent the next 14 years as the full time mother of four boys before returning in 2007. Kerry and her husband Boyd reside in Nibley.