The Sun Lakes Pickleball Club (now known as Sun Lakes Pickleball Club IronOaks) was started in October of 2008. Bev Krueger, one of our long-time stalwarts joined the club in March of 2009. Pickleball lines and two pickleball courts were put together on the multi-purpose court that already had a one goal basketball standard and a tennis backboard on it. Howard Schneiderman, Polly Giessing, Bev, and Dannie Walden were instrumental in acquiring nets and poles for the courts that suddenly received heavy use.
The racquet facility owned four paddles and some balls, and we were given permission to use the courts in the afternoon so as to not disrupt the tennis players. We had to set the nets up, and then take them down every time we played. Greg Mather soon came up with a better plan for the portable nets, and built them himself. This is how the club was started, and as soon as the HOA purchased the amenities from Robson, we were able to incorporate pickleball to be associated with the racquet facility. Players called in to obtain a court, and they organized their own games. On September 19, 2011 the two new permanent pickleball courts were officially put in play.
How our Pickleball club came to be
How our Pickleball club came to be, cont'd
On October 29, 2011, Patsy Shell put on a video pickleball demonstration display on the patio, and took down the names of those interested in learning how to play pickleball. Dave Zapatka coached interested players on the new courts while Bev provided rules, membership and scheduling information.
Dave contacted various individuals to arrange for a pickleball meeting in order to establish an Advisory Board. Initial volunteers were Dave, Scott Hickman, Patsy Shell, Don Thompson, Bev, Judy Gahide, Polly, Bobbie Fitzgerald and Colleen Walker. The mutual objective was to ensure the growth of the club.
In 2012, Advisory Board meetings continued to be held, volunteers taught lessons, and mixers and fundraisers were held. Additionally, Bev was instrumental in setting up and managing the Hold My Court reservation system, a club website was established, and the club was on its way.
At the end of 2012 there were 221 members. Steady club growth occurred over the next four or five years despite the need for additional permanent pickleball courts and five or six socials are held each calendar year.
2016 Sun Lakes Pickleball Club members
For lesson information, contact Chris Hall at the IronOaks Fitness Center 480-317-3655.
Iron Oaks Fitness Center & Racquet Club
24210 S. Oakwood Boulevard
Sun Lakes, AZ 85248
Reach Out to Us!
What is Pickleball? (cont'd from homepage)
The families had an afternoon full of fun, laughter and amusement. Now, they just had to solve the dog problem. “Pickles, you
bring that back here right now!” The whines of “I’m bored” had been replaced by kids yelling at the dog. When Pickles could get
away with it, he would fetch the ball and hide in the bushes. He wasn’t the most popular dog at the party, but he did get
the game named after him.
It’s been 56 years now and the sport is “the fastest growing sport
in America” according to the US Pickleball Association (https://usapickleball.org/).
"Pickleball grew in 2020 to 4.2 million players in the US, an incredible growth rate of 21.3%
from 2019 per the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) 2021 Topline Participation
Report, released in Feb. 2021."
Places to play increases by about 80 per month and there are approximately
8,735 locations to date. You can search places to play anywhere in America and
abroad on the USAPA website.
Regardless of where you are, get out and play!
(Sources: USAPA; SportsKnowHow; and Tennis Industry Magazine)
For more information on Pickleball, visit the USA Pickleball website here: