Pickleball coming to Evalyn Sadler branch YMCA

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SARASOTA - A few months ago, we gave you a closer look at pickleball, a sport that is huge in the rest of the country and is catching Florida in that wave. Now, a Suncoast YMCA is getting on board.

Pickleball enthusiasts unite!

"There is a need for it. Every facility I have ever worked for has had a pickleball court; nothing down here in south Sarasota, so we wanted to be the facility to open it up to all the players," says Troy Shonk, athletics director at the Evalyn Sadler branch YMCA on Potter Park Road off Central Sarasota Parkway.

The branch is having their fall fest Friday night, and they will hold an open house to show off their new pickleball courts and have a demonstration. "It seems pretty great. We have some people coming out to help with the exhibition, players from up north Sarasota are going to come down here and check it out and help the new players get acclimated to the game," says Shonk.

The game is getting more popular every day, and the need for courts -- either indoor or outdoor -- has been huge. Now the YMCA management is bringing it to even more people.

Shonk has played the game so he knows what it entails. "I love the game. I think it is great for all ages to play. I encourage everyone, including the younger folks, to come out and try it. I think it is going to be great for everybody once they see what it is."

A major player on the Suncoast is Terry Wingate, and he wants as many venues as possible. “I just discovered this game a few years ago, and it’s really taken the country by storm. I mean, whatever state we travel to you can just go online, and hook up with a game. It is just fun!"