Pickleball Court Fundraising Underway in Bend

By Ben Botkin / The Bulletin

Published February 13, 2013

The Bend Pickleball Club has raised $25,000 for eight new pickleball courts to be constructed in
the city.

That puts the club one-fourth of the way toward its goal of raising $100,000, which is half the
cost of the courts. The Bend Park & Recreation District is covering the balance of the project.

“Though we just began our fundraising efforts, we’re very pleased to have raised $25,000 so
far,” said A.J. Fraties, president of the Bend Pickleball Club, in a statement. “We hope to reach
our fundraising goal by June in order for construction to occur this summer.”

The club estimates that the region has about 600 regular players, which is expected to grow by
5,000 during the next decade.

That’s due to the game’s popularity and the active number of seniors, adults and youth in Bend,
the organization says.

Bend has just one regulation court for pickleball in the city at Quail Park. That puts the club in a
pickle when summertime comes and hundreds of players pick up their paddles.

If fundraising is successful, the district would build eight pickleball courts in Larkspur Park.

Pickleball players face their opponents on a badminton court with a net that is 34 inches tall at
the center, according to the USA Pickleball Association. Players typically use wooden paddles,
hitting back and forth a plastic perforated ball that resembles a whiffle ball.

Pickleball got its start in 1965 in Washington state by three fathers who had the goal of creating
a family-oriented game. By 2008, there were 420 places to play in North America and Canada,
with some 1,500 courts, according to the USA Pickleball Association.

The district will own and manage the courts, with the club helping with programs, lessons and
outreach, according to the club. A representative of the district couldn’t be reached for comment
on Tuesday.

To make a tax-deductible donation or learn more, visit www.oregonhighdesertpickle
ball.blogspot.com or call Fraties at 916-257-2097. Donations also can be mailed to the Bend
Park & Recreation Foundation, P.O. Box 1212, Bend, OR 97709.

— Reporter: 541-977-7185, bbotkin@bendbulletin.com

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