Pickleball courts are being built at Firemen’s Park in Niles Township. They are scheduled to be completed later this summer or early in the fall. Among those who have helped push the project forward are (from left) Art Tilbury, Myles (the Godfather) Nugent and Diana Clark. (Leader photo/ JAMI FUJAWA)
Pickleball courts are being built at Firemen’s Park in Niles Township. They are scheduled to be completed later this summer or early in the fall. Among those who have helped push the project forward are (from left) Art Tilbury, Myles (the Godfather) Nugent and Diana Clark. (Leader photo/ JAMI FUJAWA)

Archived Story

Pickleball courts being built at Firemen’s Park

Published 4:42pm Sunday, July 21, 2013

Acclaimed American philosopher Oliver Wendell Holmes once famously quipped “a mind stretched by a new experience can never return to its former dimensions.”

He maintained that the monotonies of daily routines and lack of new ventures to stimulate the mind would eventually wear down a person’s capacity for happiness and contentment.

The illustrious philosopher may not have had pickleball in mind, but here is an opportunity created by few members of the community who are working diligently to bring an activity that’s sure to serve up some fun.

If you’re a racquet sports fan, you may have already heard about the nation’s fastest growing sport.

Pickleball was first brought to Niles by residents Myles and Elva Nugent, who spend their winters in Arizona and discovered the game there. The Nugents were able to get a few friends to try pickleball with them, who then in turn got their friends to play and it has continued to spark enthusiasm throughout town.

With the work of the Nugents and their fellow enthusiasts such as Andrew Pfeifer, Diana Clark, Art and Karen Tilbury, as well as the contributions being made by the administration and employees of Firemen’s park (where the courts will be located) in Niles and the Niles Township, the community will soon have its first pair of public pickleball courts.

Future plans for the public courts include a shed to store nets, paddles, wiffle balls and brooms for patron use. Also, community leagues, tournaments and clinics will also be held at the park.

Though the target date for the courts opening is scheduled for late summer/early fall, people who are interested in learning the sport are encouraged to head to the YMCA and participate whenever games are being played. Rental paddles and the pickleball schedule are available at the front desk.

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