The Bay Area is finally returning to a familiar status quo as the pandemic recedes and we begin to assess the aftermath of a very trying past year for everyone.  We hope the impact on your family and loved ones was minimal and sincere condolences to those who may have suffered loss.  Let’s look to brighter days ahead for all.

One lesson from the lockdown was realizing the importance of recreation in our lives.  The early return of pickleball play, along with tennis and golf, yielded enormous physical and mental health benefits for those lucky (and brave) enough to take advantage of opportunities to return to play and interact with friends.  It’s so wonderful now to be able to fully enjoy the experience without masks and gloves, and to linger with players courtside to catch up and exchange small talk.

Some significant changes for pickleball in San Francisco occurred in the past year, none bigger than the re-opening of the Goldman Tennis Center in Golden Gate Park.  We want to start publishing a regular quarterly newsletter to make sure all the members of the SF Pickleball Community are aware of changes big and small in the sport, at local venues, and with some of the many interesting folks who help make pickleball such a fun and rewarding recreational choice.  We hope you enjoy – feedback is welcome and can be made via our PICKLEBALLSF.COM website.

What follows is a wonderful poetic essay from Barb Fong about the SPIRIT of Pickleball and what it means for community.  Enjoy and see ya’ on the courts!

- Hans Carter

The Best Things About Pickleball

by Barbara Fong
Most of us start out wanting to get exercise.
We try pickleball once and it’s pretty fun.
We go out a second time and we can hit more balls and stay out a little longer.
Then we look forward to going out a third time,
and then we figure out we are hooked!
We have accomplished the goal of exercise and we are learning new skills,
the feet dance on the court, our eye hand coordination is better
and pickleball becomes a sport that we enjoy.
What can be more compelling than that “bok bok” sound of the neon green plastic ball with holes
hitting the sweet spot of a pickleball paddle?
Truth be told, it’s the people you meet who hit with you even if you don’t yet feel worthy of their time.
It’s the unconditional generosity of people sharing food, life stories, and time on the courts with their families and friends.
You have just been welcomed into the pickleball family.
Pickleball is the equalizer.
On the same court you can have old and young, and experienced and beginner players, and all have a great time.