By Jen Azevedo – General Manager
Tennis has been a mainstay in our lives for decades.
Its roots travel back to 11th century France, with the more recognizable components being declared and formatted in England prior to 1900. Today, it’s a hugely athletic endeavor, played by millions and the pro level is enjoyed by millions more. The French Open is around the corner, bringing the clay season back to its previous, pre-pandemic glory. We love tennis for so many reasons, but mostly because it is unchanging. The scores, the strategies, the drama of match play are things we all know and love, and we would never give them up.
Pickleball is the pesky kid brother in so many ways to the mature and respectable tennis game. It’s been around as a passing fancy for years, but has only come into the limelight in the last decade. Almost anyone can learn to play a basic version of the game, affronting the years of dedication and drill that comes with being a high level tennis player. There is a more social atmosphere, where anyone who knows how to keep score can hop into a drop-in court and play with just about anyone. You would never dream of stepping foot on a tennis court without first asking everyone else their ratings and background. Sometimes there is music, and while it can get terribly competitive, in the end, it’s a wiffle ball so it’s hard not to smile when tapping paddles.
In case you missed it, there was a story on CNBC with Shepard Smith this week, showcasing the rapid rise of pickleball across the country. Catch it here. The number of people playing pickleball is only growing, and the opportunity to provide some options for members of all ages is hard to miss as well. So, what is the important information to know about the Paseo Club adding pickleball to our offerings? Here is a list of five useful things:
- This is not a detrimental add to the club. Most of you with pesky little brothers already know this, but even when it seems annoying, adding to the family is a positive thing. We must evolve to survive, and pickleball is something the entire family can enjoy. Our club is not about a la carte offerings. To be a member of Paseo Club is to be a member of everything.
- It’s only growing. CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) who governs all high school sports, has announced that pickleball will become an official high school sport by 2022. It is being used as an exhibition sport in the coming summer Olympics, and is likely to be included by 2024. While many have thought it a fad, it looks like pickleball is here to stay. While tennis is fun when your partners and opponents are roughly the same level, pickleball can transcend generations, athleticism and those who may be mobility-challenged. And while it has previously been thought to be just for the aging, the median age of pickleball players is dropping every quarter as more kids are introduced to the game.
- It’s a smaller interruption than many other offerings. By taking a small percentage of space at our club, we are able to provide a wonderful balance in having similar numbers of both tennis and pickleball courts. Some of the proposed changes we’ve discussed in the past have brought the idea of limiting tennis spaces while this one only touches a little.
- Membership revenue. As we all know, membership is the bread and butter of the club continuing to be our favorite place in the Santa Clarita Valley. By adding a formidable pickleball space and adjusting our membership components to include the Fitness membership and the all-encompassing Court membership, Paseo Club will open the chance to revitalize membership numbers in a more positive way.
- Community. Our community is growing at an incredible rate. New smart home developments are on the rise, and the valley is preparing for an onslaught of new families moving into town in the next year. At this time, Paseo Club has a chance to offer something truly special to these new families, bridging the gap for families to spend time together and apart in one space. There are only four pickleball courts in our valley at this time, and the city has no plans to expand that number. Paseo Club becoming a mecca for pickleball helps to only further show just how unique we are.
While siblings can bicker, they all come together at the end of the day. Belonging to the Paseo Club is something our members feel a strong connection to within our community.