The Celebration Pickleball Club Story

 

Celebration Pickleball was founded in March 2016 by David Eastman, Harry Sauter and Bryan Campbell.


Looking to build a pickleball presence in Celebration, Florida, the first step was to find a place to play...


We started out at the North Village Pavilion with a concrete floor and tape for the lines. We had to deal with pillars to the sides of the court and a roof, making lobbing difficult, it was a challenge to play in this location. However, we were just happy to be playing pickleball and knew that if we could play well here it would just make us better players on a normal pickleball court!


With a mix of ages and abilities, the experienced pickleball players taught the newbies and a pickleball passion in Celebration started to grow. Knowing the pavilion wasn't going to be a permanent solution to our pickleball addiction we started looking for a different place to play...


In January 2017 our next attempt was to try inside at the Celebration Town Hall Activities room.


This might be a perfect spot for the Florida summers!


The floor provided the perfect bounce for the ball. Unfortunately a lack of space around the court lines and still no ability to lob the ball, the group quickly decided this was not the place for us.


Unbeaten, we continued on our quest to find a new home!

Thankfully our new home wasn't too far away...

Thanks to David's persistence he was able to secure us a place to play at the Georgetown Tennis Court.

Here we are able to have 2 pickleball courts with portable nets, we finally have a great place to play pickleball with no limitations.

We started with chalking the lines which became tedious as new chalk was required after every rain.

We were then approved to tape the courts. How many pickleball players does it take to tape one pickleball court, at least 5 we found out! ;-)


The tape doesn't last forever but the tape residue left behind seems to last a while so we sometimes we have a bit of both.

In April 2017 we started some advertising so the whole of Celebration learn how fun the sport of pickleball is. We built this website and Facebook page, thanks to Lucy Clark. We held our first Beginner's Pickleball Clinic.


In January 2018 we added a lockable storage bench to the court to hold our pickleball nets and balls so our club members have access to them anytime.

6 of our players played in a tournament in Winter Garden in March 2018.

Congrats to Jeremy and Scott for winning GOLD in the Mens Doubles 3.5! They won all of their 8 games!

Also congrats to Dave and Lucy for winning the SILVER in the 19+ Mixed Doubles 3.5!
In March 2018 we designed a club logo and ordered club t-shirts, thanks to Lucy Clark and The Dink Shop. Please use the Contact Page to email us if you would like information on how to order a shirt.

In April 2018 we decided we were ready for 3 courts and were approved to paint. Here came the blue paint and we now have 2 courts on 1 side of the tennis court.

Continuing with our advertising efforts in Celebration, we had our first ever article published in the Celebrations News in May 2018 about the Winter Garden tournament.

Following on from advertising we reached a major milestone in growing our pickleball club with 21 players attending our Saturday May 26th 2018 meeting! :-)

In August 2018 our group had expanded so much that we were ready to use all our space on the tennis court and make 4 courts! Out came the blue paint again and 2 courts created on the other side!


The beginning of 2019 has brought us another boom in numbers. We had multiple meetings of 30 players in January and in February one meeting saw a record number of 36 players!


We're really showing Celebration that there is a need for permanent courts! With the update of the Celebration Master Plan starting this year we hope to become a top priority.
The dream is to have the town of Celebration, Florida, build permanent pickleball courts for their residents.


Our story continues..