If you haven’t yet heard of pickleball, you soon will. It’s one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, with New Zealand no exception. And West Harbour Tennis Club is a leading venue for pickleball out West.
Set up in the 1960s, West Harbour Tennis Club has been a magnet for tennis enthusiasts ever since. The club boasts top-class facilities, including seven all-weather astro courts and four floodlit ones. There’s also a large, fully equipped clubhouse that doubles up as a community facility. It’s available for hire and has hosted various social and community events, including art classes and a full-time toy library.
Club membership continues to grow and is currently around 190 members. All ages and abilities are represented, including social players and competitive ones. Casual players who just want to enjoy a rally or two with their mates are also welcome. The junior section is a big part of the club, with dedicated weekly sessions and expert coaching for ages five and upwards.
Thanks in part to the Your West Support Fund, locals can now get involved in the new and exciting sport of pickleball. Funding of $10,000 has been used to develop eight pickleball courts.
A cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis, pickleball is played with paddles and a hollow plastic ball with holes called a wiffle ball. The court is smaller, and the net is lower than on a tennis court. Pickleball is fun and easy to learn, making it a fantastic choice for people of all ages.
The sport was first introduced to New Zealand in 2015, and interest in the game has snowballed. There are now inter-club competitions and championships across the country.
‘Pickleball is less physically demanding than tennis,’ explains Ian Maddaford of West Harbour Tennis. ‘One of the best things about pickleball is that children can play with their grandparents. It’s a game for the whole family,’ he adds.
Ian advises that one local business made pickleball the centrepiece of their recent Christmas party. Workers enjoyed a friendly competition before sharing a bite to eat in the clubhouse.
‘The new pickleball courts have allowed us to make better use of our existing facilities,' says Ian. And it's also introduced this enjoyable sport to more residents in The West.
You’ll find West Harbour Tennis Club at Picasso Reserve, Picasso Drive, West Harbour. Keen to get involved? The ball’s in your court. Check out the club’s website for more information.