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Sports, Uncategorized

Pickleball courts open at Twin Hills

| Randy Dickson
When the people of Crestview talk, the city government does it’s best to listen and accommodate the request of the citizens. One thing people have been talking about across town and the United States is the sport of pickleball. As the people of the community made their voices heard desiring pickleball courts, the city responded building two at Blackwater Golf Course.
Crestview Mayor JB. Whitten cuts the ribbon on the new pickleball courts at Twin Hills Park as City Manager Tim Bolduc, Councilwoman Cynthia Brown, Councilman Andrew Rencich, Councilman Doug and Chuck Powell, Director of Parks and Recreation look on.

An additional six courts were built at Twin Hills Park replacing several tennis courts in a renovation project.

The ribbon cutting for the new courts was held on June 3.

“We started looking at getting funding to renovate the tennis courts and the plan was two pickleball courts,” Chuck Powell, the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department said. “But as the cliche goes ‘Upon further review, saw we could actually get six (pickleball) courts in this one space right here (at Twin Hills Park.

“That’s what we did, and you can see what’s happening out here right now (all the courts were in use).”

Crestview Mayor JB Whitten, like most people, has only recently heard of pickleball, which is said to be the fastest growing sport in the United States.  

“The first time I heard about it a few years back in Destin,” he said. “My assumption was it was a game for old people. I don’t know why I assumed that, but I did.

“When I thought that I was totally wrong. Once people get involved and they found out how much fun it is, the word spreads like wildfire. I guess it really is for everybody.”

The mayor admitted he has yet to play pickleball, but he is looking forward to trying the sport. As an old racquetball player, he’s confident he should pick the game up fairly quickly.

Whitten said the pickleball courts are just another example of city’s commitment to the community.

“The vision for the City of Crestview is to continue to offer not only pickleball, but in expanding all of the recreation venues,” he said. “Earlier this year we did a survey of what people think of the city (priorities) and right under the roads, which is always going to be the number one problem, was parks and recreation.

“They want more things to do here in the city and so we continually look around and expand like we said our skateboard park, disc golf, pickleball. This year, in the budget will be looking at what we can do with the parks we already have how do we enhance those.”

He hopes to some expansion or least enhancement of the current softball and baseball fields because that’s what the people want.

Powell said the renovation project at Twin Hills included renovating the outdoor basketball court as well as a tennis court along with building the six pickleball courts.

“Tennis folks probably don’t want to hear this,” Powell said, ‘but pickleball is really taking off.

“We’re excited about opening this back up. It’s been a long time coming.”

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