EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – It’s National Pickleball Day and if you didn’t know it has been named the fastest growing sport in the U.S.

Hundreds of El Pasoans are playing pickleball in the Sun City, especially those young at heart senior citizens across the borderland. 

El Paso Pickleball is making its mark in the sun city with new courts in the fall. In fact, Ascarate Park will be opening its first pickleball court facility in September.

El Paso, U.S.A Pickleball Ambassador and Vice President, Benjamin Avalos is an instructor and he tells KTSM  it’s a sport everyone should try. 

“We’d like to encourage seniors to get off that lazy boy recliner because I know it’s comfortable, because I have my own lazy boy recliner but I make sure to get out and I exercise at least two or three times a day,” Avalos said. 

Adding that with heart disease and diabetes being so high within the senior population, Pickleball is a great way to keep active.

Former Golfer for University of Texas, Jean Fisher is almost 90 years old and believe it or not he plays Pickleball about 3 times a week. 

“The social aspect is what is enticing to the senior population. and a lot of times seniors are isolated in their homes, they don’t have that many friends and this just opens up a whole new world for them. The senior community just embraces anybody that comes out on the floor and plays. So we have people of all ages playing.”     

With over 40 years of playing Pickleball, Avalos introduced the game to his wife Terry after she became paralyzed from the waist down. 

“I didn’t think I was going to be capable of moving the chair around and it was wonderful, I was able to move again, I was able to get upper body motion and strength back. My legs are just trying to manipulate myself from one side of the court to the other. My legs are stronger,” Terry said.

With six months of playing the sport, being in a wheelchair hasn’t stopped her from hitting the court twice a week for four hours.

“There are ways to get around your restrictions, if it’s a bad back, bad knees or a bad shoulder we find ways to get around it.”

Terry encourages seniors to get active, come out and join the Pickleball Association in the Sun City. 

By next June, El Paso will be hosting the Texas Police Athletic Federation where they will have 30 events and you can pick which ones you want to play. 

Pickleball El Paso president Jamie Fisher says, it’s the first one in El Paso in 40 years, which they’re expecting 1,000 to 2,000 visitors. 

If you never played pickleball before, fisher explains how this sport is easy for all ages.

“One game is only about 20 minutes, and after that you switch partners, you trade courts. Everybody plays with everybody. Which is why you really need 8 to12 courts, so you can separate by level and you can rotate them. So if it gets really crowded, and you end up with 54 people, 32 can play at a time you know every 6 minutes somebody is coming off,” Fisher said. 

Adding that the game is great for meeting new people, being socially involved, physically active and you play with different generations. 

Avalos says even retired veterans have embraced Pickleball, which they have partnered up with fort bliss by giving active duty soldiers free lessons as part of their P.T.  

With 35 years of physical exercise, Avalos just wants people to come out and have fun because it is a lot better than getting on a treadmill. 
If you’re interested in playing this sport, Pickleball games are hosted throughout El Paso Recreation Centers.

You can call Galatzan Recreation Center at 915-212-0724 or go to pickleballelpaso.com to request a pickleball lesson with Avalos and look up Pickleball games near you.

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