Residents from Clermont and beyond created quite a stir, attending recent City Council Meetings and workshops to plead their cause: they can’t get enough pickleball.

Over the years, a series of favorite games have swept across the United States, captivating sports enthusiasts from coast to coast. Tennis, racquetball, handball, and basketball have each had their moments in the spotlight. Now, it’s pickleball’s turn.

Pickleball, a hybrid of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, has gained immense popularity for several reasons. It’s easy to learn, making it accessible for people of all ages and skill levels. The smaller court and slower pace, compared to tennis, allow for a more manageable and enjoyable game for both beginners and seasoned players. Moreover, pickleball is a social sport, often played in doubles, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among players.

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, the number of pickleball players has surged, with millions picking up paddles in recent years. Public parks, recreation centers, and even private clubs have added courts to meet the growing demand. The sport’s popularity has led to local and national tournaments, cementing its status as a favorite pastime.

The outlook for pickleball’s continued popularity is promising. Its appeal spans generations, from young children to senior citizens, ensuring a broad and diverse player base. The sport’s inclusive nature and relatively low cost of entry—compared to other sports—make it accessible to a wide audience. As long as communities continue to invest in facilities and promote the sport, pickleball’s popularity is likely to endure.

Recognizing the demand for pickleball, the Clermont City Council approved the construction of six more pickleball courts with lighting and covering at Clermont Arts And Recreation Center (3700 S US-27, Clermont). The project, approved at Tuesday’s meeting, is estimated to cost around $500,000+.  It will take time to complete as bids and plans need to be posted. Once finished, these courts will provide a dedicated space for the community to enjoy this beloved sport.

The sport’s infectious appeal has many of the citizens in a tizzy.  As the city invests in new facilities, residents and visitors alike can look forward to countless hours of fun and friendly competition on the pickleball courts. 

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