12 new pickleball courts for South JordanSep 22, 2020 03:10PM ● By Mariden Williams
The South Jordan City Council enjoyed a private pickleball game to inaugurate the new courts. (South Jordan City Communications)
By Mariden Williams | [email protected]
South Jordan recently opened two sets of six brand-new pickleball courts: one set at South Jordan City Park on 11000 South Redwood Road, and the other at Highland Park, just off 6200 West and Lake Avenue.
"We're all very excited to have a new amenity in the city—an amenity that residents have wanted and have asked for for the last several years," said South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey. "In 2017, when I was running for mayor, I heard 'we want pickleball courts' more than almost anything else. So, we really are happy to be able to have those pickleball courts."
Pickleball is a paddleball sport that plays like a mixture of tennis and ping-pong. Originally invented in the mid-1960s as a backyard game for children, it's become popular in recent years, partly because it's easier on the joints than many other racquet-type sports.
Councilmember Tamara Zander, who has been pushing for South Jordan to add pickleball courts for the past several years, is particularly pleased with the opening of the courts.
"I'm really grateful that staff and council and everybody got on board, because it is the fastest-growing sport in America,” Zander said. “It's played by seniors all the way down to youngsters. The beauty of this particular sport is it's not just for really athletic people; it's for people of many abilities. I love that we have elderly and youth and everyone in between that can play sports."
According to Zander, pickleball courts are also slated to be added at the much-anticipated Bingham Creek Regional Park, which will be the largest park in Salt Lake County when completed. The exact number of courts is up in the air, but Zander hopes it will be a lot.
"Let's go big on those, because we have so many people wanting to play," she said. "We already have people in line at the Highland Park, because there's not enough courts for the number of people that want to use them. We're still underserving the population."
The individual courts are small and fenced off, so they provide a good way to go out and do something active with your family while still maintaining a healthy distance from other players. If all the courts are in use when you arrive, which is likely given the popularity of the sport, you can save your place in line by hanging your paddle up on the fence. City-hosted tournaments will be held on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
The city council had originally planned a grand public opening for the courts, but due to social-distancing concerns, members instead opted to hold a small private ribbon-cutting ceremony and an inaugural pickleball match between the councilmembers. Their game was filmed and released to the public as part of a promotional video announcing the opening of the new courts.
Though some of the councilmembers were initially a little bit self-conscious about their pickleball skills and how they looked on-camera, they seemed to have a good time bouncing around the court.
"Look, [the camera team] caught the one shot where I actually hit the ball decent,” joked Councilmember Jason McGuire. “That was not CGI. I did have at least one good shot."
"The pickleball event was wonderful,” said Councilmember Patrick Harris. “I'm just happy that we're able to put in an amenity that is so well used. I think that's really important when we're planning what we do in our park spaces, we put things in that the everyday, average person is going to use. I think it's good to have the team sports for the youth, but I like how with this, people of all ages can go out and play pickleball and get exercise and enjoy their time with each other."