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
How our Pickleball club came to be
organized their own games. On September 19, 2011 the two new permanent pickleball courts were officially put in play.
email Sharon Dankowski, Chair
e-mail Jim Berney, Chair
e-mail Rhonda Stanford
Iron Oaks Fitness Center & Racquet Club
24210 S. Oakwood Boulevard
Sun Lakes, AZ 85248
Club Board Members
Rhonda Stanford (2017-present)
Bob Harper (2017-present)
Chris Berney (2017-present)
Sharon Dankowski (2017-present)
Past Advisory Members
Scott Hickman (2017-2019)
Janet Myrick (2017-2019)
Reach Out to Us!
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.
In 2017, as voted on by the Sun Lakes Pickleball Club IronOaks members, the club officially became governed by a group of seven officers who had been nominated and voted into office at the 2017 SLPCIO general meeting that was open to all club members. Those officers include: Rhonda Stanford, President; Bob Harper, Vice President; Chris Berney, Secretary; Scott Hickman, Advisory Member; Janet Myrick, Advisory Member; and Dawn Mann, Member At Large.
As of mid 2017, the club had grown to a total of over 285 members, and had become a Non-Profit Arizona Corporation.
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 52 years now and the sport is “the fastest growing sport
in America” according to the US Pickleball Association (USAPA.org).
The 2016 Sports & Fitness Association (SFIA) has reported
approximately 2.5 million players. It is further estimated there will
be more than 8 million players in just a few years.
Places to play increases by about 80 per month and there may be
more than 5,000 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)