Pickleball plays in Peoria

The latest, up-to-date local news provided by the Heart of Illinois ABC News team, with updates on community issues in the Peoria and Bloomington-Normal areas.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 1:29 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - The courts at Glen Oak Park were full on Monday morning with dozens playing pickleball. weekday mornings.

“It’s kind of a combination of racquetball, tennis and ping-pong. It’s just an addictive game. You play it and you have to come back for more,” avid pickleball player Frank Abdnour said.

Pickleball grew in popularity - especially among older generations.

“It’s a great workout, low impact, you can work as hard or as little as you want and it’s fun. It’s a great way to spend your morning,” Abdnour said.

Kelly Eckert had been playing for over a year, she fell in love with the game and has recruited over 30 people into the world of pickleball.

“Not everybody likes to workout at the gym, I know personally I don’t, so for me this is exercise. I’m a very social person, so for me this allows me to have a lot of social time with people,” Eckert said. “Everybody knows when they meet me, they talk about it with me and anybody who says, oh I’ve been wanting to try it. I say let’s get out to get a court. I’ll meet people out here in the evening teaching them the fundamentals of the game.”

Kelly said the numbers keep growing. The Peoria Park District offers four different locations for the game and offers lessons and clinics.

As the game kept growing players were hopeful for more opportunities for competition.

“I’d love to see a tournament locally, I’d also like to see a younger group try the sport,” Eckert said.

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