We Are PickleballERs raising funds to bring courts to Eaton Rapids

They’ll get a matching grant from the MEDC’s Public Places Community Spaces Initiative
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT
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EATON RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) - Pickleball is all the rage in the U.S., as well as here in Mid-Michigan.

Soon, thanks to a community effort, Eaton Rapids will have new courts of their own.

“It’s the fastest growing sport in the us, and we want to be involved with it,” said Joe Mitchell, President of We Are PickleballERs, a local organization.

It started with a passion; new love for a new sport Mitchell and his wife discovered not that long ago.

“We fell in love with pickleball when we went to Texas,” he said. “They had a guy teaching lessons and we said ‘let’s try it’...Well we’re hooked. Like everyone else that plays it, you get hooked.”

Now the group is looking to raise $30,000 to bring the sport to Eaton Rapids.

“We plan on putting four regulation pickleball courts on this piece of land right behind me.”

A release Mitchell gave News 10 says “When” they get the money, not “If.”

Mitchell is confident these courts are going in.

“It’s going to happen,” he said. “We will reach our goal. One way or another we’ll find a way to reach our goal.”

And once they do, The Michigan Economic Development Corporation will match it.

“They’re all about doing this for communities,” said Mitchell.” We had a project here earlier and the goal was to restore the rapids, and the MEDC’s Public Places Community Spaces was used for that also. And that’s just a good vehicle for people like us to do good things for the community.”

Mitchell says he’s excited to bring a very accessible sport to the city, and says the addition of the four courts will do nothing but good things for the community.

“We’re going to have days where people can come out and learn to play pickelball,” he said. “People are going to come from all over to play here, it’s going to benefit the city and all the businesses that we have in town. They can play and then stop to have lunch or dinner.”

“I don’t care if you’re five years old or 95 years old,” said Mitchell, “you can play this sport.”

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