SunBird Pickleball – Fasted growing activity in the neighborhood

Roger Mandeville

“I hate to exercise, but I love playing pickleball, because it’s so much fun and it works out that it’s good exercise,” says Debbie, a SunBird Pickleball Club member from Carmel, Indiana, who started playing two years ago.

According to NBC News, “Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America.” The sport/social activity can be played by five-year-old kids to folks enjoying birthdays in their 90s. Access the news story at

At SunBird, the Pickleball Club now has over 100 members and growing, thanks, in part, to great support from the SunBird HOA Manager Layne Varney and the efforts of Club President Margret McCarthern and board members Alan Trudeau, Dan Buescher, Marianna Buescher, Greg Libby, Robyn Blosh and Wayne Blosh. The board has focused on growing the sport to allow participants to have fun, make new friendships, be competitive and enjoy a new activity that keeps them healthy and active.

The pickleball competitive season ends in two weeks, and it looks like the SunBird Women’s team will be top three in the East Valley Inter-Club League. Congratulations to the SunBird Women. The men played well, had a good time and are looking forward to next year. Club President Margret McCathern is very proud of the club’s accomplishments, not only because of competitive success, but the increase in participation by the SunBird community. She pointed out the club now offers free lessons for beginners, more non-competitive play several times each week along with an end-of-season fun tournament (members only) with a BBQ bash to close out the season.

Alan Trudeau, a two-year pickleball player from Kelowna, British Columbia, enjoys the friendly, progressive and competitive environment SunBird pickleballers create on the courts. He looks forward to forging a cooperative relationship with the Tennis Club, which allows players participating in both sports to co-exist in a friendly and positive environment.

The SunBird pickleball family is unanimous about several things, “We come to the courts to have fun, we’re soaking up sunshine and not shoveling snow, making new friends and it’s a great way to enjoy the day.” Robyn Blosh from Ottawa Lake, Michigan, who has been playing pickleball for five years, says, “I am not surprised at how fast the sport is growing here at SunBird. The word gets out and people start showing up to play, and soon we have another social event.”

To those of you heading back to your summer homes in the north and east, have a safe and fun summer. To anyone who will be here for a cooler-than-normal summer (wishful thinking), the summer pickleball schedule will be out soon; come on over and join the fun this summer. There will probably be a pickleball pool party in your future.