Guest editorial: More pickleball courts would elevate Park City as a year-round destination | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial: More pickleball courts would elevate Park City as a year-round destination

Nathalie Odernheimer
Park City

As a "Wanna-be" be competitive pickleball player, I want to share my personal thoughts as well as those of fellow pickleballers who live here full time. I have lived here for 28 years and am thrilled with the amenities that have been created to serve our community! Having spent years supporting my children's participation in sports in Park City, now is the time for our community to support more adult participation in various athletics.

Call it payback or even a thank you to parents of the past. We have a few generations of citizens who were instrumental in building Park City into a community that offers world-class sports programs for children and professional athletes. We were the soccer moms/dads, volunteers at sports events, organizers of sports clubs, who worked overtime to provide opportunities, not only for our own kids, but following generations. Let's bring our community growth full circle in a way that allows grownups to engage in sports on a different level — one that allows for healthful aging.

My point is this: It is okay to provide for adults. While I see many players who range from grade schoolers on up, the majority of players seem to be in their 40s through late 70s with excellent players competing in each age category. Though many of us have been able to engage in some activities throughout the years we need to remain active in order to stay healthy as we age. Our social lives no longer revolve around our children's activities and we want our own sports affiliations. For some of us, this includes pickleball. As we travel around the country, we have seen extraordinary facilities catering to this sport, many of which exist in areas where the sport can be played year round. Like Park City in the first years we lived here where kid's activities and opportunities were limited if you were a swimmer or soccer player, pickleball is currently limited here. We have some courts that are often competing with tennis. Indoor space is extremely limited, sharing with kid's basketball or, again, with tennis. As a year round active community we need to grow these spaces. Our sport needs the opportunity to practice year round so that we can compete around the country and compete with the many seniors who choose to come here each summer, stimulating our economy with summer rentals, restaurants and tax dollars.

Please consider building pickleball facilities that are on par with the facilities our children enjoy that we have supported throughout the many years we have invested for them in this community. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. Park City and our county brag about all that we have done to become a leader in year round activities. Please support our growing aging community. Let's start with adequate summer space and move onto all-season availability. Please.