The Sun Lakes Pickleball Club of IronOaks invited champion pickleball player Helle Sparre to our courts to give a clinic for our members.
Helle Sparre had an elite tennis career and competed in all four major grand slams – The Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She was once ranked as high as 49th in the world on the professional women’s tour, captured the 1978 U.S. Clay Court Women’s Doubles Championship and competed for the victorious U.S. Women’s 40s team in the World Cup and won the 40s World Doubles Championship.
Helle told us that in 1996, she played in the Jason Morton tournament. At that time, champion tennis players traveled to Sun Lakes from all parts of the country to play in Jason’s tournament. The winners received money prizes. Oldtimers, like myself, probably remember housing some of these players during their stay for the tournament. Helle told us, at that time, she thought what a wonderful community we lived in. She lives in Leisure World now and didn’t realize she had been here before until she recognized our tennis facility. We are hoping to have her back on a regular basis.