Ken Calkin, The Godfather of Athens Pickleball, gave a brief history of the start and growth of Pickleball in Athens. (Read the full history here.) At the end of his talk, his son Jamie presented Ken with a paddle that was designed by Jamie and printed by Prolite so it can be used on the courts. In addition to the history lesson we were introduced to the head of Parks and Recreation, voted on two by-law revisions, received Pickleball car magnets, received an update on the 2022 Pickled Peach Classic, and signed a petition to get more Pickleball courts in Athens. Please see Tom McEnaney to add your name to the petition.
AAPA member Lilly presenting a check to East Athens Community Center leadership for their Back to School program.
AAPA members presenting a check to Lay Park leadership for their Back to School program.
Pickleball’s momentum as one of the fastest growing sports in the country continues with a brand re-launch aimed at building awareness and promoting the sport’s development and growth across America.
The new brand name is officially USA Pickleball, aligning it with other sports governing bodies and our USA Pickleball National Championships. The brand re-launch also includes a new, modern logo and an updated website at usapickleball.org was designed to improve the user experience. The new name, logo and website will strengthen USA Pickleball’s worldwide image as the official Pickleball organization in the U.S. and will help attract new players and future ambassadors.
Thank you to all our members! We are excited about the future of pickleball and USA Pickleball and your support to make this one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S.!
For questions or comments regarding the website, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
USA Pickleball Team
A group came out to express our gratitude to Janice and Tom for all they have done for AAPA during their time here in Athens. We wish you all the best in your return to Nashville and will miss you both.
AAPA member Lynn BeHanna presenting a check from AAPA to Randy Haygood, Facility Supervisor at Lay Park Community Center in appreciation for all they do for the Pickleball community in Athens.
AAPA member Nelda Van Schoick presenting a check from AAPA to Trevor Ross, Program Supervisor at East Athens Community Center. We appreciate their support of our mission to support Pickleball in the local community.
In June, eight Athens Area Pickleball players had a friendly competition with the Monroe Pickleball Club. Thank you to Dee Overby from Monroe and Jerry (JT) Tolbert from Athens who organized this event, and to everyone for participating. Our ladies came home smiling!
Players pictured are: Back Row L-R: Sky Baker, Rebecca Whitney, Mary Straub; Middle Row: Jean Campbell, Sherrie Weber, Kathy Smith; Bottom Row: Lynn Behanna, Lilly Garrett.
I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. I entered the military upon completion of broadcasting school. After serving in the military for eleven years before returning home in 1994, tragedy struck. I was in a car accident, leaving me paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors told me I would never walk again nor would I ever live a productive life. That day I became a quadriplegic. I was only able to move my mouth and eyes.
The injuries from the accident were physically and mentally devastating, but it didn’t dampen my spirit. I focused on the fact that I was still alive...still here. I decided to work with what I had and I continued to have hope even with my limitations.
I did not grow up playing sports in school or in the military. But in 2002, I was introduced to wheelchair sports. That year my life changed forever in a good way. At the National Veteran Wheelchair Games (NVWG) in Cincinnati, I was able to compete alongside other Veterans with disabilities. Back then, I won medals in 9 ball, table tennis, bowling and trapshooting. As time has progressed, I have been fortunate to continue to compete and bring home gold, silver, bronze medals and money in wheelchair tennis, table tennis, boccia ball, air rifles, air pistols, javelin, shot put, discus, kayaking, triathlon, handcycling, curling, weightlifting and now pickle ball.
At the urging of a fellow Veteran wheelchair athlete, I picked up a tennis racket for the very first time in 2011. I had no concept of wheelchair tennis. But despite my lack of knowledge, I took to the court with a tennis racket taped to my hand. At first I didn’t manage to get one ball over the net. That didn’t stop me. For two years, I taped my tennis racket to my hand and traveled to the court for hours to learn to just get a tennis ball over the net. My persistence paid off. Soon, I was playing multiple times a week and I even got my own custom built tennis chair.
I heard about pickle ball through the Mecklenburg County Senior Games (MCSG). I began competing in the (MCSG) back in 2013. I signed up for my first pickle ball singles match this year.
Before playing, I was able to participate in a pickle ball clinic at Camp SOAR (Sports, Outdoor Activities and Recreation) located at Fort Yargo in Winder, Georgia (Camp SOAR is a bi-annual recreational therapy camp for disabled Veterans living with spinal cord injury/disease). With the help of Suzanne Kenrick, Recreational Therapist at Charlie Norwood Veterans Hospital, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Southeastern Chapter (SEPVA) Augusta,Georgia and USAPA Ambassador and United States Navy Combat Veteran Dr. J. Brinegar, from Athens Georgia, I was able to put my wheels on the court in April this year.
During the MCSG, I really enjoyed meeting USA Pickle ball Association District Ambassador Mrs. Desire Osman at my 1st match. The final score was 8-15. Although I did not win, I had tons of fun meeting and learning from seasoned player.
Off the court, I travel as a motivational speaker, Reiki therapist, licensed manicurist and teacher. Sharing a message of hope with the masses.
Finally, I am so thankful for all of the opportunities that have come my way since breaking my neck. At the time of my accident, in the back of my mind, I often said to myself “my accident happened to me.” However, on this side of my struggles to live a productive life, I realize my accident happened for me! For this, I am grateful.
Twila Rene' Adams
There is an article about local pickleball origins, health benefits, etc. on page 12 in this week's flagpole magazine. Click here to read the story.
“Two years ago at an annual physical, my physician asked me what I was doing differently. I told him I could only think of one thing…