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Pickleball is already proving a big hit in Exeter

Published: 25 July 2023

Pickleball is already proving a big hit in Exeter Cllr Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Leisure

One of the fastest growing sports has arrived in Exeter – and is already attracting interest from people of all ages and abilities from across the city.

Pickleball is fun, social and friendly - the rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game.

The racket sport is for two or four players who hit a perforated, hollow plastic ball with paddles over a short net and can be played indoors or outdoors on a badminton court.

Invented as a children’s backyard game in the United States, it has grown rapidly in recent years. Exeter now has its own Pickleball Club and sessions can be booked at the Riverside and Wonford sports centre via the Exeter Leisure app.

Cllr Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Leisure, tried pickleball for himself during one of the regular sessions at Riverside.

He said: “This is a new sport which is growing really quickly in the UK, and it is great that you can now book sessions through the Exeter Leisure app and at Riverside and Wonford.

“You can play at the speed you want to play, and you can get into the game whatever your ability. All of the information is available on our Exeter Leisure app, you can book on to a session, you don’t need to buy any equipment, just turn up and give it a go – it’s a great sport and a lot of fun.”

Tim Spurway, of Exeter Pickleball Club, said: “Pickleball is essentially a cross between badminton, table tennis and tennis and is played on a badminton court with paddles. It is much more accessible than some racquet sports, and a bit easier on the body. But it is still a skilled sport and can be played at higher levels. 

“If anyone wants to get involved they should book through the Exeter Leisure app. We hold three sessions a week, at Riverside and Wonford, with a mixture of times, so it’s perfect for people working during the day.”

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