A Player’s Perspective: Huntsman World Senior Games

Article Submitted by Alice Dodgson, Lakeshore Pickleball Club, West Michigan

Three years ago I decided that I would like to play in the Huntsman World Senior Games – mainly because I loved southern Utah and wanted to make my way back there. I went on the USAPA’s Partner Search and found two wonderful partners: John Browning (who was looking for an older female partner) and Rosalie Knutsen. We teamed up that year and just finished our third Huntsman Games this year.

We’ve won a few medals along the way, but what I really found in Utah can not be hung on a wall. I found friendships that go beyond tournaments, an extended pickleball family that is caring, loyal, funny, silly at times, and supportive.

Our games this year were tough and very competitive (the 95-degree heat didn’t seem to help), but the memories that I took away this year are from “after the matches.”

After the finals of the women’s doubles match, when the four of us stood at the net and hugged and said how much fun we had; how we loved playing each other.

After a match in the skill doubles, when one of the women who lost followed us the rest of the day and cheered us on at several matches.

After a match which Rosalie and I lost to two women from Lincoln, and their entire cheering section gave us high-fives and hugs.

After a match, when I was walking along and a complete stranger stopped me to say she enjoyed watching me play.

After a match that ended under the lights, when my friend who had watched and cheered all day offered to drive me to the hotel. She knew I would never make it out of the parking lot!

After the mixed doubles final, when my opponent, Rosalie, told me how proud she was of me – and they won!

After a match, when a 5.0 player said she wants to be like me “when she grows up.”

After the matches, I was so grateful to be able to play this sport I love, to play with and compete against players my age who constantly amaze me and to renew those friendships which will continue to grow. Thank you to the Huntsman World Senior Games for giving me the opportunity to gather these memories and treasure them. See you next year!

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