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Archive for "Community"

Wichita Pickleball Now Has an Official Website

Posted on May 3, 2021 by under Community, Hobbies.    

Meet Bill Mitchell. The man who inspired the new ictpickleball.com website.

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I met Bill while checking out McAdams Recreation Center a couple of weeks ago. As with all the new people I meet, I encouraged him to join the Wichita Pickleball Facebook group to connect with other pickleball players in the area. There’s only one problem. He doesn’t have a Facebook account. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this response. A lot of people these days are not Facebook. It got me thinking, how do we reach people who, like Bill Mitchell, are not on Facebook?

I came to one logical conclusion: we needed a website. And so ictpickleball.com was born. I had a couple of hours to spare and unused hosting space on brubakers.us so I made a simple website using WordPress. I purchased the ictpickleball.com domain from Go Daddy for less than $20 and then just forwarded the domain to the new WordPress site on my existing host.

Along with this, I also started an email list for those who want to stay informed. So now people who do not have Facebook accounts will have a way to keep up with what’s happening in our pickleball community without having to become part of the Wichita Pickleball Facebook group.

I don’t know why it took me a couple of years to do this. I think mostly I was too busy before and only recently had time to really think about things. Anyway, it’s live now and I hope that people find it useful.

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Vaccine Awareness Initiative

Posted on April 28, 2021 by under Community, Projects.    

Assistant District Governor Arlen Honts visited the Rotary Club of Andover last week and talked to us about the #RotarySharingSmiles project. Rotarian DeAnn Sullivan came up with the idea when she saw a yard display on her way to her sister’s house one day. She came up with the idea for Rotary to make our own signs to brighten other people’s day while also promoting vaccine awareness.

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Here are some pictures that I took at the Rotary luncheon last week.

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It was our first in person Rotary meeting in a long time. There were only eight of us who attended but it was nice to see everyone there. Our club has really struggled with virtual meetings so I’m hoping that things will begin to return to normal and we can start in person meetings again.

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I’m grateful for Arlen visiting our club and talking to us about this initiative. Kudos to DeAnn for coming up with such a great idea!

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It’s a Big Dill!

Posted on April 23, 2021 by under Community, Events.    

I had the opportunity to help with the Wichita Children’s Home It’s a Big Dill! pickleball tournament this past weekend. The event was fantastic and the organizers did a fabulous job. Here are a few pictures.

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The event was a huge success and, even though I didn’t get to play this year, I am so glad I got to be part of it. I need to make sure I’m free on the weekend of the event because I definitely want to play in it next year. Until next time. GNG.

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Tournaments are Back

Posted on April 22, 2021 by under Community, Events, Family, Hobbies.    

After a year of no events or gatherings of any kind, tournaments are finally back. It seems like there’s pickleball tournament every weekend this month at Chicken N Pickle. There were even two back to back last weekend, one on Saturday and one Sunday. Now that people are getting vaccinated, it seems everyone is getting more comfortable with being out and around other people.

Creating Tomorrows hosted a pickleball tournament at Chicken N Pickle a couple of weeks ago which I attended as a spectator because I didn’t know about it until last minute. We were at dinner at Carrabba’s and Joe just happened to mention that he had donated several prizes to this tournament. I normally play pickleball at noon at Nahola but made an exception because I wanted to support a cause that’s meaningful to my friend Joe.

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I didn’t get to play but I got to do the next best thing — write the bracket on the whiteboard. I love when Michael let’s me do it.

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Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of the tournament champs Mason McCanless and Caesar Naftzger who played as Big Caesar’s Pizza.

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After the tournament, I went home to get Brian and we both drove to the outdoor courts at Mulvane to surprise dad. We gave him a card and some gift cards for his birthday, which he always tries to keep on the DL.

It was a beautiful day for a drive and we had a nice visit with mom and dad and the entire Cannady clan who were all there playing with them. We didn’t get to play with them that time but I’m hoping we have more nice weather ahead and will have another opportunity to play pickleball with the family very soon.

Until next time. GNG.

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Linwood Recreation Center

Posted on March 26, 2021 by under Community, Hobbies.    

After two solid years of playing pickleball, amazingly enough, I’ve still never visited all of the locations that offer open play in our area. I think what happens is that, now that I’ve found places that fit my schedule close to me, I don’t ever venture out to new places any more. Once established, it’s always hard to step out of our comfort zones. That said, I’m going to try really hard to hit (and take pictures) of the various places on our Wichita pickleball open play schedule.

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First stop: Linwood Recreation Center. I visited the rec center for the first time ever a few weeks ago. With rec centers, you never know what kind of surface you’ll be playing on. Most of the time they have wood gym floors. Occasionally, you’ll run into vinyl tile floors like at Linwood when they use a multipurpose space.

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At Linwood they have room for three pickleball courts and play using temporary portable nets. Similar to the format used at Edgemoor, everyone lines up on the chairs set up at one side of the room and they use a “four on, four off” rotation. As each game finishes, the games shift toward the furthest court so that they’re always feeding into the nearest court. This limits the need for players to walk back and forth and interrupt play.

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I’m not a huge fan of the “four on, four off” system because sometimes you get stuck playing with the exact same people for the entire open play but it does keep things moving and, even when there are over twenty players there, the wait time is limited. Groups do get mixed up a bit when there is an odd number so there’s opportunity to play with different people.

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The player demographic at Linwood is similar to the player demographic at most rec centers. There’s more older people than younger people but it seems like, unless you’re playing at Chicken N Pickle, that tends to be the case with pickleball because the sport was popular with the retired folks before it became mainstream.

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On the Saturday that I went to check out Linwood, I ran into some people I knew like Ken (above) and Bill (below), and others who I’d never met before.

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I also met a new friend, Phil, who recently discovered pickleball and, just like all of us, is now completely addicted.

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Anyway, I’m going to try to make it out to all the other locations to take some pictures and videos and meet some pickleball players. If you’re looking to play, here are two things you must do to get started because open play options on the weekend are usually quite limited:

The Facebook group will help you connect with other pickleball players so you’ll get invited to play outside of the regularly scheduled open play. PlaytimeScheduler shows you an open plays arranged by people at the parks (or other locations) that are outside of the normal schedule.

As far as the normal open play schedule goes, here’s what typically happens on the weekends:

    SATURDAY

  • Linwood Rec Center – 10 AM to 12 PM
    $2 per person, limited to the first 25 players
  • Edgemoor Rec Center – 1 PM to 3 PM
    $2 per person, limited to the first 25 players
  • SUNDAY

  • Nahola – 12 PM to 2 PM (competitive)
    $7 per person for non-members
  • Edgemoor Rec Center – 1 PM to 3 PM
    $2 per person, limited to the first 25 players
  • El Dorado Rec Center – 2 PM to 5 PM
    FREE open play
  • West YMCA – 4 PM to 7 PM
    $10 per person for non-members

Now that I’ve been to Linwood, I can saw that I’ve been to all of these places. Now I just have to check out all the other locations which is a bit more challenging because I work during the day. I will do my best to get it all done this year, though. Until then, hope you have a great time playing. See you all on the courts soon!

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