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Weekend Pickleball

Posted on August 13, 2021 by under Community, Hobbies.    


My friend Debbie Fanning sets up the best pickleball play groups. I still remember when she first invited me to play in her Friday night group. I was so excited! I also owe her for getting me connected with Tom Pham. I had never played with him before she and Dave started inviting us to play mixed doubles in the bubble at Riverside Tennis Center (RTC) a year ago. If it weren’t for these games, I never would have gotten the idea to team up with Tom last year.

We don’t do mixed during the week anymore because our schedules have diverged. Before I picked up additional classes at VASA, I was playing in multiple leagues so it was hard to play during the week nights. Nowadays the main hurdle with playing during the week is my Aqua Zumba schedule. I teach classes every single week night except for Friday. I have a 6:30 PM Aqua Zumba class at the Harry location on Mondays and Wednesdays and a 5:30 PM Aqua Zumba class at the Woodlawn location on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This makes it nearly impossible to get in any play groups. Even leagues are tricky. I can’t do a league that starts any earlier than 8 PM most of the time.

Anyway, in addition to our fabulous group on Friday night, Debbie has started organizing weekend play. They usually start at 9 or 10 o’clock in the morning, which is impossible for me to make because I have Aqua Zumba on Saturdays (Woodlawn location) and Sundays (Harry location) from 9-10 AM. There were a couple of Saturdays that I piggy-backed off the 10 AM Saturday group and started my group at 10:30 AM just so I could play with them. And then there were a couple of weeks when it was too hot to play outside and Debbie booked courts inside the bubble instead. On those times, the indoor courts at RTC weren’t available until later so I could actually join the fun.

The one day that has always eluded me is Sunday. They usually play from 9-11 AM at Rolling Hills so it’s impossible for me to join them. However, luck was on my side last weekend. The pools at VASA were closed for maintenance so my weekend classes were canceled. I didn’t find out until the weekend so I was on the waiting list but, luckily, there were a couple of cancellations and I managed to in.


I was so excited to finally be able to play with this group that I begged them to take a group picture at the end. I wanted to remember this forever because I wasn’t sure when the stars would align for me to be able to play with them again.

It’s so amazing that Debbie’s groups have grown so much. Our Friday night group is always a standard 10 players. Her weekend groups have gone from 12 players to an average of 16 players to now 24 players routinely playing a ladder format together. Even with that many players, she still ends up with a pretty deep waiting list.

I just love playing with this group. I wish I could play with them more.

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