Adult recreation

Lots of pickleball fun at Belfast City Park

By Staff | Sep 12, 2017
Courtesy of: Loraine Janelle Scene from pickleball event on Sept. 9 in Belfast.

Belfast — The Friends of Belfast Pickleball hosted a scramble event on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Belfast City Park.

The successful event, which attracted more than 35 participants, was open to all levels.

For more information, schedule and locations to play, check the Belfast pickleball website at Belfast Pickleball.

According to the group's website, a small number of people started playing the activity at the Waldo County YMCA in Belfast, in the spring of 2014. They played once a week until the Y's summer schedule did not allow for them to use the gymnasium. The Y did allow the use of its pickleball net, paddles and balls and the group found another home at the Searsport High School gymnasium where it played until early August.

"We then contacted the Belfast Parks and Recreation and they generously agreed to put three courts on one of the two [outdoor] basketball courts at the City Park where we happily played until fall when we secured a home for the winter at the Point Lookout Fitness Center gymnasium [in Northport]. Needless to say, some of our members became proficient at lining our pickleball courts, both with tape and paint, and any time a venue needed a new court, they generously agreed to do it," the website states.

During this time the group had grown as summer residents returned to the area and were happy to find pickleball being played in Belfast. In turn, the more experienced players helped pull the local game along. Though the asphalt courts at City Park were rough and just barely contained the courts, the setting was outstanding with the ocean breezes, mature trees, tennis courts and community activity going on around. As pickleball at City Park has grown more popular, the group continues to attract an increasing number of players from surrounding towns and vacationers from other areas.

In July, 2016, the Belfast group received approval from the Belfast City Council to turn the second basketball court at the City Park into dedicated pickleball courts. After a year or more of meeting, debating, planning, trips to City Hall, the group now has four regulation-size pickleball courts in the Belfast City Park.

The group has grown to more than 140 people on its email list.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

Scene from pickleball event on Sept. 9 in Belfast. (Courtesy of: Loraine Janelle)
Scene from pickleball event on Sept. 9 in Belfast. (Courtesy of: Loraine Janelle)
Scene from pickleball event on Sept. 9 in Belfast. (Courtesy of: Loraine Janelle)
Scene from pickleball event on Sept. 9 in Belfast. (Courtesy of: Loraine Janelle)
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