PHOENIX — The National Governing Body for the fastest-growing sport in the United States today announced it will be gifting a pickleball court to partners at Special Olympics Michigan as part of National Pickleball Month celebrations in April.
The court will be dedicated to promoting pickleball participation amongst Special Olympics events and programs in the local area. Sports surface company Sport Court® will provide the pickleball court as an Official Supplier and the Official Modular Tile Surface Partner of USA Pickleball.
“Our work with Special Olympics North America (SONA) has been extremely productive and yielded significant results over the last few years as we’ve continued to provide education and resources to help introduce pickleball to Special Olympics athletes in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean,” said Hope Tolley, USA Pickleball’s Managing Director of Recreational Programs. “On behalf of the USA Pickleball team, I’m thrilled to present this court to the Special Olympics Michigan team as they continue to integrate pickleball into their sports offerings. We’re grateful to Special Olympics North America Programs for welcoming pickleball with open arms and we’re excited to continue working with them in the future.”
USA Pickleball’s work with Special Olympics North America began in 2018. To encourage the growth of pickleball within the Special Olympics community, USA Pickleball has provided resources and assistance in support of this goal and the Special Olympics mission to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition. Staff members of USA Pickleball have been able to meet with Special Olympics leaders from across the North America Region and host demonstrations on how to teach pickleball in order for Special Olympics North America Programs to consider adding pickleball to their list of offered sports.
"We are reminded every single day by our Special Olympics athletes that participating in sports is truly a transformative experience," said Tim Hileman, President & CEO of Special Olympics Michigan. "No doubt, this partnership with USA Pickleball will create new opportunities to transform lives through the exciting sport of pickleball." Hileman continued, "Special Olympics Michigan is incredibly thankful for the generous donation of this court at the Unified Sports & Inclusion Center campus, where our athletes can learn, train, compete, and celebrate this exciting sport in the years to come."
Established in 2018, National Pickleball Month is designed to connect everyone within the sport while, at the same time, introduce pickleball to new audiences by highlighting its inclusive, fun and healthy qualities. During April, USA Pickleball will be showcasing people, places and events across the sport.
“We are honored to partner with USA Pickleball to donate a pickleball court to Special Olympics Michigan and bring the game of pickleball to even more people during National Pickleball Month. Our pickleball surface is engineered to optimize playability and safety, supporting fun competition for athletes of all abilities,” said Stephanie Corrigan, Sport Court’s Director of Brand & Product Marketing. “We look forward to seeing the athletes compete on our surface and enjoying the game we all love.”
More information about National Pickleball Month can be found here.