(Lander, WY) – Club members started to arrive at the Lander Valley High School tennis courts just before 8 am on a warm Friday morning. Like a well-oiled machine, they quickly set up the pickleball nets, got out their gear (which mainly consists of a paddle), and just like that the first ball was served.
About six years ago the Popo Agie Pickleball Club was founded. You could even consider the formation ahead of its time since it is now the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. This lower impact sport is a combination of tennis, ping pong and badminton.
The club meets daily, according to Marnie Fusco, current club president. This includes during the colder months when they generally find a place inside to play.
It is a common misconception that pickleball is only for older folks and since it’s lower impact compared to tennis, it is more ideal for that age range. However, it is open to all ages. The club has members from 13 to over 70.
“It’s more of a workout than people think,” said Thomas Varichak, area pickleball ambassador.
Not only does it provide a great workout, but there is also a social aspect. Tournaments can take you around Wyoming and outside of the state if you so choose. Popo Agie Pickleball Club members can play recreationally or competitively.
A few club members shared some words of advice for those interested in playing:
“Don’t feel intimidated.”
“Once you play it’s like a drug.”
“Don’t plan to play it once because you’ll be hooked.”
“It’s great to play a sport again.”
Anyone interested in joining the Popo Agie Pickleball Club is encouraged to reach out to either Marnie by emailing [email protected] or by calling Tom at (307) 851-5813.
Beginner classes are also offered a few times a year and shared on their Facebook page.