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City debates bringing in new sport

The City of Andalusia will host a pickleball clinic this month to gauge the public’s interest in bringing the fast-growing sport to Covington County.

Pickleball is a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced and competitive game for experienced players.

Pickleball combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.

It may be played indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and slightly modified tennis net.

It is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes. Pickleball may be played as doubles or singles.

“It’s been something that we have wanted to do for a while now,” City of Andalusia’s Mike Hourel said. “Until now, we just haven’t had the time to really talk more about the possibility.”

Hourel said that through talks with First United Methodist Church education minister Alecia Glaize the idea of the clinic came about.

“She was telling us that they have been playing the sport for sometime and compete with others in cities close by,” Hourel said. “She agreed to host this clinic so that we could explain what the game is and how it is played.”

Hourel said that based on the how the clinic goes the city will decide whether or not to bring the sport here.

“Right now, we are just trying to gauge interest before we start charging money for people to join a league,” Hourel said. “The idea is to bring in more activities for the adults in Covington County to participate.”

Sign ups for the clinic will be on Tues., May 15, from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., at the Johnson Park gym. There will be no cost for the clinic and equipment will be provided. Participants are encouraged to wear tennis shoes and comfortable clothing.

The clinic will be held on May 16 at the Johnson Park gym from 9-11 a.m.

For more information, contact Johnson Park at 222-2714.