Pickleball craze comes to Burnley

June Walker (right)  with newly-qualified pickleball instructors.

June Walker (right) with newly-qualified pickleball instructors.

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Burnley Leisure members and staff are not in a pickle – as they have become the first in the country to complete a new pickleball training course.

Held at St Peter’s Leisure Centre, the certified instructors’ course saw a group of 14 people master the racquet sport over two days.

Pickleball was created in the USA in 1965 and is played on a badminton-sized court, combining elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis.

The reduced speed of the ball and smaller size of the court makes it the ideal game for older people.

The training was delivered by qualified pickleball instructor June Walker (70) who flew in from Florida to help inspire people to play the game of pickleball correctly.

June said: “Pickleball is a great sport for all ages and abilities and its popularity is fast growing in the UK. One of the difficulties most groups face when starting playing pickleball is having someone with the knowledge to train newcomers to the sport.

“This course will give instructors and residents the best opportunity to progress to whatever level they wish to achieve in playing pickleball.”

The sessions which will now be led by newly qualified instructors are held on Thursdays at St Peter’s Leisure Centre. Sessions take place from 10am-12-30pm every week and cost £3.50 per person and includes free use of the gym and a swim.

To book a place in advance, or for more information, call Jane on 01282 477134 or email healthylifestyles@burnley.gov.uk. Alternatively participants can turn up and play on the day.

Burnley Leisure’s Get in2 team now have five qualified pickleball instructors who will also be organising sessions for younger people to come and try the sport.

Pickleball is a great sport for all ages and abilities and its popularity is fast growing in the UK

June Walker

Sessions for people aged 14 and over will be offered as part of Get in2 activities. For information contact 01282 477167 or email getin2@burnley.gov.uk.