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Live, laugh, love, pickleball

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Pickleball has become a highly popular sport in LaPorte over the past year. With the Healthcare Foundation and LaPorte Parks Department coming together to create four dedicated pickleball courts in Kesling Park, the community has found a new hobby that is drawing a welcoming and diverse group of people together. 

Many students and staff members from LaPorte High School have joined in the fun and love to play and enjoy the times outside with friends and family. They feel as if it’s a good way to meet new people and get physical activity.

“I enjoy playing pickleball because I play a lot of the sport in my free time outside of school. I would enjoy playing it with more kids my age, and it would be fun to meet new people and to have some good competition while doing it, too,” Murphy Burke, junior, said.

Burke has not only enjoyed the new friendships he has made but also quality time with his grandma, Barb. His grandma taught him how to play, and it has now become something the two can do together and make lifelong memories.

Slicer junior AJ Mrozinske started playing this summer and has enjoyed the connections made with other La Porte citizens and has loved playing. Mrozinske has found time in his busy schedule to get out to Kesling Park when he can.

“I enjoy playing because I am naturally good at the sport, and I enjoy the friendships that I make along the way,” Mrozinske said.

LPHS is asking for input for a new spring intramural sport due to the lack of interest in softball the past year.

“We have been struggling to get participants for the spring intramural sport session lately. I have been brainstorming other activities and saw the pickleball activities at Kesling Park, and it seemed like a good idea to introduce the high school,” John Eason, gym teacher and intramural co-sponsor, said.

Voting opened this week on the SRT Canvas page. It can be found in the  “Announcements” section.

A collective group of LPHS students think it would be a great idea to add an intramural pickleball team at the high school. The students who currently play feel it involves teamwork, thinking, and is a fun activity for everyone.

“Pickleball is very fun and not a lot of people know what it is. This is a great opportunity for people to learn a new skill and get involved,” Abby Allen, junior, said.

Allen started playing with Mrozinske at the beginning of this past summer. She enjoyed the sport so much she decided to teach Nurse Cooper and junior Caiya Cooper how to play.

“I was pretty nervous about trying something new. I have never really played tennis, but I have played ping pong a little. Once she taught me the rules, I went to the court and tried it hands on. It was so much fun. I immediately loved it. Each time at the court, I feel more and more confident. I appreciate Abby for encouraging me to try something out of my comfort zone,” Nurse Cooper said.

Dr. Alber is open to the opportunity and would love to have a new intramural sport in the high school.

“I am open to the possibility of adding an intramural option at LPHS. Last year we did not have enough interest in softball intramurals, so we would be open to adding a sport if enough students are interested,” Alber said.

LaPorte High School is even looking into having pickleball be added to the gym classes. 

“We have had discussions about new activities for PE classes and are working out the logistics of having that activity in our curriculum,” John Eason, gym teacher, said.

Anyone wanting to try pickleball out can join in on the fun each weekday at Kesling Park around 4:00 p.m. central time and on Sundays at 2:00 p.m. central time. More information can be found on the La Porte Pickleball Facebook page or on the free TeamReach app using the code lppb

Young or old, pickleball is bringing La Porte together.

“It’s the hottest sport in America. People of all ages can play and play together,” Erin Parker, English teacher, said.

 

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