Letter: Pickleball, a beloved sport, is not just for older players

Posted 12/9/21

As Chestnut Hill and Mt Airy residents, and pickleball players, we are writing this letter in reply to Tom Beck’s story to offer a more balanced view.

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Letter: Pickleball, a beloved sport, is not just for older players

Posted

As Chestnut Hill and Mt Airy residents, and pickleball players, we are writing this letter in reply to Tom Beck’s story to offer a more balanced view.

We appreciate the concerns of the immediate residents and would like to work together with our neighbors to improve the situation. Many suggestions were given, and we are certainly willing to be flexible. For example, opening at 9am during the winter is completely reasonable, as is closing earlier in the evening. Closing half of the courts during the winter would probably not make much difference in noise level, but it would drastically reduce opportunities for community members to play.

None of us were aware of the swearing "very loudly and very excessively” that was mentioned in the article. However, we can certainly monitor ourselves for any foul language, as well as how loudly we are talking.

We disagree with Mr. Beck’s ageist statements, such as describing pickleball players as “geriatrics with wooden paddles.” While some of us are in our 60’s and 70’s and beyond, players at the Water Tower are also in their teens and 20’s. And if someone in their 80’s or 90’s is playing, that is something to celebrate rather than insult.

While some may feel that “pickleball is not a super athletic game,” most players would disagree. It can involve physical stamina, athleticism, and strategy. It has been a great outdoor pastime during the pandemic. Playing pickleball is also a chance to be part of a friendly group that is diverse in age, sex, race, physical ability, etc. Given the divisiveness in communities lately, we instead come together to share a common passion.

We applaud Councilmember Cindy Bass for her support of the Rec Center, and thank the Center for being a wonderful community hub. We invite our neighbors with concerns to come out anytime to meet us and talk over a cup of coffee. Try a game! We believe that working together would give the best chance of positive solutions.

Sarah Whitman, Chestnut Hill
Abe Witonsky, Chestnut Hill

Margaret Shapiro, Mt Airy
Sue Osthoff, Mt. Airy 
Marilyn McHenry, Chestnut Hill
Mary Jo McMullin, Chestnut Hill
Marilyn Paucker,  Chestnut Hill
Eva Stehle, Chestnut Hill
Debbie Rodgers, Chestnut Hill
Linda Baldwin, Chestnut Hill
Cheryl Pinkus, My Airy
Karen Kulp, Chestnut Hill
Tyson Smith, Mt Airy
Tricia Walmsley, Chestnut Hill
Ellie Seif, Mt. Airy
Karen Freedman, Chestnut Hill
Mike Moses, Chestnut Hill

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