DENTON TEXAS SUPPORTS USAPA JUNIORS
Pickleball Club in Texas Embraces USAPA Juniors Program
First Annual Grandkids Pickleball Camp held in North Texas
By Shirley Waterhouse
The second week of August was a historic week for the Robson Ranch Denton Pickleball Club. As the second largest Pickleball Club in Texas, our courts hosted the first annual Grandkids Pickleball Camp in North Texas.
Although registration was restricted to only 10 kids given the number of available courts, it quickly filled up and there was even a waiting list to get in. Event coordinators are expecting for a large turnout next year with the community adding more courts. More importantly, the camp size allowed for more one-on-one attention for all of those involved.
Ford Roberson, Club President, nationally ranked pickleball champion and certified trainer, encouraged the kids on the first day to catch the Pickleball Fever. Also in attendance was Warren Williamson, past club officer and current Tournament Chairperson. He spoke to the kids about tips for playing doubles and singles, how to use the dink, good sportsmanship, and how to play a tournament with a referee. He encouraged the kids, instructed them and motivated them to play both doubles and singles matches – both in open recreation play and at tournaments.
Ellen Gilgore, the local USAPA Ambassador, loaned paddles to the kids who did not have them and also helped with instructions as needed. Judy Day, Jackie Killingsworth, Pam Clements and myself provided instruction and encouragement on the courts and pitched in wherever needed. Every child was given individual encouragement and instruction as needed or requested. Overall, they just loved the whole game.
Four of the ten kids were brand new to pickleball and the other six had been playing in their schools or with their grandparents. The beginning players were given a choice of competing in a tournament with all levels or a skills contest for their new found abilities. All the kids chose to compete and showed not only wonderful new found abilities, but commendable sportsmanship. Each doubles and singles match in the tournament used official referee volunteers trained right here on Robson Ranch through our accredited Referee Training Program. Special thanks to Fred Thompson, chair of the Player Development Committee and to volunteer referee’s Jackie Kuykendall, Kuykendall, Julie Laderach Bob Laderach. Fred Thompson was Head Referee and announced the Gold Medal Match to all in attendance. Awards were presented at the end of the camp. Special thanks given to Bob Romagosa for providing sprayed pickleballs for the special recognition awards and Dean French for making Camp Buttons.
First Place Doubles: Ryan Theleman and Charlie Willmann
Second Place Doubles: Grant Wright and Santiago Lara
Third Place Doubles: Clayton Davee and Morgan Schorn
First Place Singles: Ryan Theleman
Second Place Singles:Charlie Willmann
Third Place Singles:Morgan Schorn
Most Enthusiastic Award: Daniel Lara
Best Sportsmanship Award: Kendall Schorn
Most Improved Award: Luke Metcalf
Next year promises to be an even bigger, better and more anticipated event!