Cottonwood Pickleball Club Welcomes 500th Member

Jeff Dunn

Even if you have never played pickleball before, there is a place for you in the Cottonwood Pickleball Club. The club is structured so people of similar skill levels play together. From the first-time player who has never hit a pickleball, to the tournament-savvy player, you’ll find a place to play.

“Our club is exploding,” said Club President Mary Roper. Pickleball is the number-one growing sport in the country, and I think I am safe in saying it’s the number-one growing sport in active adult communities. Our club has seen our membership grow from 277 members in 2020 to about 500 members today. With the growth came a demand for training. “We’ve created a first in class training program, thanks to three members who became certified instructors through the Professional Pickleball Registry, an arm of USA Pickleball,” continued Roper.

Certified trainers Wanda Siedlecki and Paul Nichol and certified pro Jerry Strom, along with more than 20 volunteer members, have put in countless hours to see that any member wishing to improve their game has the opportunity. “The training is fantastic, and it’s free!” said 80-year-old Bill Rethke. “We’ve got a lot of good people giving back to the sport they love.”

“Not only is pickleball a fantastic way to stay in shape, more importantly, it’s the social aspect that attracts most members,” said club member Mary Dunn. “When my husband and I moved to Sun Lakes in 2017, we didn’t know a soul. We decided to try this new game called pickleball, and the rest is history. Our social life is centered around pickleball friends, many of whom have come to visit us in Oregon in the summer.”

For most of the members, this is the first time they’ve played any kind of racket sport. “To be very honest, I was a little apprehensive about joining the club, since I never played pickleball before,” said Nancy Marley. “The club made it so easy for me to learn to play with their Introduction to Pickleball Orientation class. Once I began playing, I was hooked! I can’t tell you the number of new friends I’ve met along the way.”

So, if you are looking to share a few laughs, get some exercise, and have a ton of fun, come down to the courts and see what pickleball is all about.

Club play begins at 7 a.m. and concludes at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Courts are available to all homeowners Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. until courts close at 9 p.m. and all day Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information on how to join the club, visit See you on the courts!