LAKEWOOD - There are new outdoor courts for pickleball enthusiasts in Lakewood.
Lakewood officials have finished constructing the new courts at LaGrega Field along Linwood Avenue. There is lining for six courts.
Establishing the outdoor pickleball courts in Lakewood has been an ongoing process. John Livingston, Lakewood pickleball spokesperson, said a year ago he made a presentation to the Lakewood Village Board about how quickly the popularity of pickleball was growing locally.
The sign that will be placed near the new pickleball courts at LaGrega Field along Linwood Avenue in Lakewood. The courts are being dedicated to Jerry Mattison, who helped popularize the sport locally.
''I pointed out that there was no place to play and the (Village Board) decided to convert old tennis courts into six new pickleball courts,'' Livingston said. ''It makes me feel great that they did this. The courts are fantastic. Tom Pilling (Lakewood street supervisor) did a fantastic job.''
Livingston said about 75 people play pickleball in the Lakewood area. Also, he said there is a group of about 55 players in Bemus Point that also play the sport. In Lakewood, pickleball is played in the evening at 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and in the morning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
''Right now, there is no league. It is just whoever shows up gets to play,'' he said.
The new courts have been dedicated to the memory of Jerry Mattison, who passed away this spring. Livingston said Mattison was instrumental in bringing pickleball to the area. A sign with rules, the Lakewood pickleball logo and Mattison's name will be placed near the new courts.
Livingston said the sport was created in the 1960s, but has been growing nationally for the past 15 years. He said all ages can play the sport. The Lakewood group has teenagers to 80-year-old seniors participating. Pickleball is played similar to tennis with singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches. The sport is played with a wooden or composite paddle that is larger than one used for table tennis and a whiffle ball.
David Wordelmann, Lakewood mayor, said village officials were planning on renovating the area before the pickleball group asked for courts.
''We had old tennis courts that were not being utilized anymore. The pickleball group came in asked for an outdoor venue,'' he said. ''The group of 60 to 70 people, who were interested in the courts, sold us on the idea.''
There is an open house and free clinic scheduled at the new courts starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. The free clinic is for ages 10 through adult and there will be two sessions. The first from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and the second from 1 to 2 p.m. A free T-shirt supplied by the Jamestown Cycle Shop and a light lunch will be given to anyone who preregisters for either one of the clinics. Preregister before Friday by calling Livingston at 763-8963 or Tom Dorey at 763-7023 for details and registration. All levels of players and spectators are welcome. A rain date would be the following day at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5.