Township again offers pickleball clinics

Participants to be split into three groups based on skills

Courtesy of Business Yab
Beginning in April, spring pickleball clinics will return for the fourth year to Ella Harris Park.

The Harrison Township Recreation Commission is registering players for its spring pickleball clinics, held from April to early May at Ella Harris Park.

The four-week clinics welcome players of all skill levels who are split into three groups: beginners, advanced beginners and intermediate players. Each group will report to a different session on certain days and times at the park.

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Beginners will meet on Tuesdays, April 16, 23, 30 and May 7, with a rain date of May 14. Clinics run from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Beginners will learn the rules and basics of the game. Advanced beginners will meet on Mondays, April 15, 22, 29 and May 6, with a rain date of May 13 and the same hours. They will learn new shots and the importance of court positioning.

Intermediate players will meet on the same days as the advanced beginners, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Their class will focus on improving all aspects of the game with several drills. Registrations for the beginners and advanced beginner classes can be filled out online at Signup Genius.

Intermediate class registrations can be completed with those of advanced beginners. Space is limited to eight people per session and all ages are welcome.

This marks the fourth year the recreation commission is hosting pickleball clinics, which began with the surge in the sport’s popularity in recent years.

“We jumped on the bandwagon after hearing about the craze and what other towns were doing,” said Recreation Coordinator Sharon Chew. “They were using their tennis courts as makeshift pickleball courts and we decided to do the same thing.”

“It is not as strenuous as tennis …” she added. “Which I think is where the popularity comes from. We get people in their 60s participating in games.”

A separate session for seniors 55 and up will take place from Monday, May 20, through Thursday, May 23, with a rain date of Friday, May 24. Beginner classes will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced beginner classes are scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m.

The pickleball craze has also taken hold in Mullica Hill, so much so that the township is currently constructing pickleball courts. The hope, according to Chew, is that work will be finished in time for the clinics.

“We’re currently planning on adding four pickleball courts over at Ella Harris (Park),” she said. “I’m hoping they’ll be open in time for the clinics, but construction could be affected by the weather. They’ll be adjacent to the parking lot in the lower section of (the park).”

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