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Introducing the Diversity and Inclusion in Pickleball Fund 

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) Board of Directors unanimously approved a new program dedicated to providing pickleball to underserved communities in Seattle. This effort is being driven by Sue Goodwin along with a soon-to-be formed Advisory Council of community representatives.

The community Advisory Council expects to engage neighborhood members to drive local player involvement. The goal is to set the stage for participants to learn and practice skills to foster a pickleball community and culture characterized by courtesy, kindness, and inclusion. The Advisory Council will help to recruit, train, and hire youth and adult leaders, coaches, referees, and ambassadors from these communities with a goal of growing the game and culture of pickleball.

The fund source is expected to be a combination of community donations, grants specific to the instructional and participation goals of the program, and personal donations, with SMPA acting as the nonprofit fiscal sponsor. Sue Goodwin expects to bring additional funds to the Seattle Diversity and Inclusion in Pickleball (DIIP) Fund through pickleball clinics, lessons, and donations.

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association has launched this dedicated fund to provide financial support for DEI pickleball programs and related services for established underserved communities of Seattle, to expand the ethnic, economic, and geographic diversity in pickleball play and instructional activities. With a goal of $10,000 annual budget, the DIIP Fund is managed by the program’s Advisory Council.

Click the Donate button to complete your online donation to the DIIP Fund. 

If you have any questions, email us and we’ll respond as promptly as possible.

If you are making your donation by check, make it payable to Seattle Metro Pickleball Association noted as “DIIP fund”. Mail to SMPA, 6523 California Avenue SW, Ste 151, Seattle WA 98136.

This DIIP fund allows personal funds, corporate matching funds, or donor-advised funds be given as tax-deductible donations to the 501(c)3 nonprofit Seattle Metro Pickleball Association.

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Alert News

Seattle Parks Listening Sessions Update

Seattle Parks sent you an invitation that reads “We want to hear your ideas on how to make our recreation facilities and programs work for you! Join the conversation with recreation leadership and share your ideas on how we can improve recreation communications, facility hours, and programs.”

Eighteen people, fifteen of which were pickleball players, attended the first listening session.

Here is what transpired.

Good News

Seattle Parks is considering increasing evening and weekend operating hours at its community centers. 

Bad News

To increase evening and weekend operating hours, something’s gotta give: the current operating hours. Seattle Parks is considering taking away some of the hours that the community centers are currently open during the day Mondays to Fridays and moving them to evenings and weekends. This could seriously affect the current drop-in pickleball schedule.

What Can You Do About It?

Attend a listening session

If you attend one of the listening sessions, you will be asked four questions:

  1. Indicate when you would like to access recreation facilities and programs, by distributing stickies across days (MTWTFSS) and time slots (7-9,9-12,12-2,2-5,5-9).
  2. What are the main ways that you hear or learn about recreation activities
  3. How would changing hours to evening or weekend impact you?
  4. Is there anything else you would like to share with Seattle Park and Recreation leadership?
Participants in Seattle Parks first listening session at the Delridge Community Center on November 9th, 2022
Make your voice heard

When we hear about expanded hours, we all dream of more pickleball hours. But that is not what we are talking about here. This is mostly a reallocation of hours towards evenings and weekends.

When you answer #3, keep in mind that a carelessly executed expansion plan could lead to the loss of current pickleball drop-in sessions and no new evening or weekend pickleball drop-in sessions.

Answer the online survey

Seattle Parks released an online survey. It will ask questions similar to the ones above.

Make your voice heard

When we hear about expanded hours, we all dream of more pickleball hours. But that is not what we are talking about here. This is mostly a reallocation of hours towards evenings and weekends.

When you answer question #13 (“How would changing the community center operating hours to evenings and weekends impact you?”), keep in mind that a carelessly executed expansion plan could lead to the loss of current pickleball drop-in sessions and no new evening or weekend pickleball drop-in sessions.

Use question #17 (“When you visit a Seattle park, what are some of the things that you would consider an enjoyable experience”) and #18 (“When you think about welcoming safe and clean parks, what does that look like to you) to talk about what you would consider an enjoyable pickleball recreation program and enjoyable pickleball recreation facilities. See yesterday’s post if you need a little inspiration.

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Alert

Come Tell Seattle Parks How Well Their Pickleball Programs Are Working for You

How is the indoor pickleball drop-in program working for you? Are the drop-in sessions happening on convenient days and at convenient times? Are there enough players showing up for you to have a game? Can you find sessions attended by players with a skill level that matches yours? Are the kitchen lines painted at the right distance from the net? Are there enough drop-in sessions?

Seattle Parks drop-in pickleball offerings peaked in 2018 and are currently about 25% below that peak. (Data based on weekly indoor drop-in offerings as of November 2nd of each year.)

How are the pickleball classes offered by Seattle Parks? Are they offered at convenient times? At convenient locations? Spanning the right skill levels? If you wanted to enroll, were you able to do so?

How easy is it for you to find out which facilities offer indoor pickleball and what their schedule is? How easy is it for you to know when schedule changes occur?

How is the outdoor pickleball program working for you? Seattle Parks reserves outdoor courts exclusively for pickleball at Delridge, Walt Hundley and Miller some weekday mornings. Did you know about those? Would you like to see more dedicated outdoor pickleball drop-in sessions sponsored by the Parks Department at other locations or at other times?

Does your neighborhood have enough semi-permanent pickleball nets for your outdoor pickleball courts?

Are the pickleball lines easy to see on your local outdoor courts?

Pickleball court lines at Brighton Playfield

Seattle Parks wants to hear your ideas on how to make their recreation facilities and programs work for you! Join the conversation with recreation leadership and share your ideas on how they can improve recreation communications, facility hours, and programs.

Seattle Parks is organizing 4 listening sessions where you can share your feedback. These sessions are not just for pickleball, but let’s make sure there is a huge pickleball turnout at all four sessions. Please pick one session to attend and bring your friends. Wear your favorite pickleball shirt.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 9 – Delridge Community Center, 6 to 7:30 pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 10 – Meadowbrook Community Center, 6 to 7:30 pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 – Jefferson Community Center, 6 to 7:30 pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 17 – Bitter Lake Community Center, 6 to 7:30 pm

Families welcome. Refreshments provided.

UPDATE: A fifth session has been added:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 – Jefferson Community Center, 6 to 7:30 pm

    Morning listening sessions will be announced soon.

    See you there!

    Categories
    Alert

    Action Alert: Help Define the Priorities for Auburn’s Parks and Recreational Facilities

    What?

    The City of Auburn is going to update their Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan. The PROS Plan includes a six-year plan and 20-year vision for Auburn’s park system. It outlines goals and objectives, implementation strategies, capital improvements, and investment programs for the City’s parks, recreation and open space system.

    If you think that Auburn will need more pickleball facilities over the next 6 to 20 years, this is your chance to say so, loudly and clearly.

    How?

    Share your insights via the Parks Department’s survey. City residents, patrons, and interested stakeholders are all invited to participate.

    Here are a few hints, regarding this survey:

    Question 4 will ask “What are the type of facilities that you most regularly use”. Do NOT select “tennis courts”. Instead select “Other” and type in “pickleball courts”. This will help the “pickleball” answers stand out from the “tennis” answers.

    Use question 8 to describe in detail the type of pickleball facilities you would like to see in Auburn over the next 6 to 20 years. If you know of existing facilities that could serve as a model, please include links to them.

    Please explain why such facilities will be needed. Coud it be that the number of pickleball players is growing exponentially, and that Parks Departments need to start planning accordingly?

    What else?

    Talk to all the pickleball players you know. Ask them to take action.

    Share this web page with all your pickleball friends.

    What next?

    This is just the beginning of a long process. At the end of the survey, type in your name and email address so Auburn can keep you in the loop for the next step.

    How important is it?

    This updated PROS plan will define the Auburn Parks Department’s new goals for the medium and long term.

    If the Parks Department’s new goals include your pickleball vision, we will be able to work together to realize these common goals over the next 20 years.

    If the Parks Department’s new goals don’t include your pickleball vision, any significant pickleball request you make will be seen as a distraction from the Parks’ real goals. You will have to wait 6 or more years for the next PROS plan revision, to give it another shot.

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    Alert

    Help Plan the Future of Redmond Pickleball (Part 2)

    Redmond Parks spent the summer listening to community ideas for future parks projects in Redmond. This feedback was meant to guide how they manage and enhance your parks, playgrounds, community centers, forests, and trails over the next ten years.

    Join Redmond Parks online or in person at City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 5 to hear how they will update the Parks, Arts, Recreation, Culture, and Conservation (PARCC) Plan to see if this new plan will meet the needs of our growing and diverse pickleball community with new pickleball facilities, activities, programs and events.

    What?

    Redmond Community Meeting on Parks and Recreation

    When?

    Wednesday, October 5, 2022, from 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM

    Where?

    • In-person: Redmond City Hall, Council Chambers, 15670 NE 85th Street, Redmond, WA 98073, or
    • online.

    How to Register?

    Register here to attend online or in person.

    More information

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    Alert

    Help Seattle’s Miller Players Get More Courts

    What?

    The Miller players’ effort to get more pickleball courts is now at City Hall, where they have found a couple of officials who may be willing to intervene with Seattle Parks and Recreation on their behalf.

    What Can I do?

    Add your voice to theirs by emailing those officials with your support.

    This sample email is all set up for you with officials’ addresses and supporting text. Please personalize the text as much as you like, sign your name and send it off. 

    Categories
    Alert

    Ask for Pickleball Courts at Bellevue Airfield Park (Take 2)

    Bellevue is updating its Master Plan for Bellevue Airfield Park.

    A few weeks ago, we attended the first of three community meetings to tell them what park elements we would like to see at this new community park. Somehow, we all agreed that having pickleball courts would be a great idea.

    Now, a second community meeting and a new survey have been announced.

    Second Community Meeting

    When?

    This in-person community meeting will take place on Thursday, September 22 from 6:30-8 p.m.

    Where?

    At the South Bellevue Community Center located at 14509 SE Newport Way. Registration is not required.

    Who?

    You.

    You do not need to be a Bellevue resident to participate.

    Do I Have to?

    For us to have a chance to get 8 or more pickleball courts at Bellevue Airfield Park, it is crucial that the pickleball community be present at this meeting and make their voice heard.

    What?

    This second community outreach meeting will include opportunities to:

    • Recap the first community meeting discussion.
    • See the draft Bellevue Airfield Park Master Plan Update options being considered.
    • Share your ideas and input for how Parks can balance the needs and program options for the Bellevue Airfield Park.
    • Discuss your thoughts on the draft plans and future steps for the master plan update process. 

    Please attend and share your vision for a pickleball facility to be located at Bellevue Airfield Park.

    What’s next?

    If we do well at this meeting, we will get to attend a third (and possibly final) one.

    More Info

    Visit the Bellevue Airfield Park web page.

    View the event notice flyer

    Survey

    Please take a few minutes to answer Bellevue Parks’ new informational gathering survey.

    Question 5 will ask if there is anything missing from the 2012 Master Plan. Make sure to mention that it is missing a pickleball facility. Share a vivid picture of what you mean by that. Is it one pickleball court? Is it two? Is it a dozen? Are there lights? Is there a roof? If you know of an existing facility that could serve as an example, add a link to it.

    Question 8 will ask what types of active programs would interest you. Make sure to check the “Other” box and specify “pickleball“. Feel free to expand on what type of pickleball programs you would like to see such as pickleball drop-in, classes, leagues, ladders, tournaments, etc.

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    Newsletter

    Summer 2022 SMPA News

    Mariners Pickleball Night

    Come celebrate Mariners Pickleball Night with your host Seattle Metro Pickleball Association at a Mariners game! The Mariners play against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, September 10th at 6:10 pm at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

    For one night only, pickleball fans can watch the game and cheer from their own special sections when Riley Newman throws out the first pitch.

    Bring your friends and family! Come have some pickleball fun and cheer on the Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Hope to see you there!

    Seattle Outdoor Pickleball Construction Briefing and Update

    On August 11, 2022, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) briefed and updated Seattle’s Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners on its “2021-2022 Outdoor Pickleball Study”

    Miller Players Advocate For 6 Pickleball Courts

    Seattle Parks insists on having two pickleball courts per tennis court at the most. On August 11, five pickleball players addressed the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners to plead their case for painting 6 pickleball courts on the two Miller tennis courts.

    2022 Humana Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic

    A very, very, special thank you to the 120+ volunteers who make this tournament what it is.

    Miller Players Petition for 6 Pickleball Courts on 2 Tennis Courts

    Over 100 players already signed the online petition. Over 25 have signed the paper version.

    Ask for Pickleball Courts at Bellevue Airfield Park

    Bellevue is updating its Master Plan for Bellevue Airfield Park. They want to know what park elements you would like to see at this new community park.

    Lines For 16 New Pickleball Courts Coming to Seattle This Summer

    The tennis courts at Rainier Beach, Gilman Playground, and Alki will get pickleball court lines this summer

    New Seattle Outdoor Pickleball Courts: Draft Plan

    You answered dozens of surveys from the Seattle Parks Department and some from the Seattle Parks District. You sent emails to Seattle Parks, the Seattle Parks Superintendent, the Seattle Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, the Seattle City Council, and Seattle’s previous and current mayors. You attended in person and online meetings. It is all slowly coming to fruition as Seattle Parks works on a new plan to expand the number of outdoor locations where you can play pickleball throughout the city.

    Meet West Seattle’s First Paddle Organizer

    Find the latest news

    The latest SMPA blog posts are featured on the SMPA web site’s main page. Scroll down to the “Latest from the blog” section.

    Find all the news

    You can find all the news on the SMPA web site. Simply click on the News menu item or go here.

    Categories
    Alert

    Vote for New Sammamish Pickleball Courts

    What is going on?

    In Sammamish’s previous survey and open houses regarding these two parks you said you wanted pickleball courts.

    Now Sammamish has developed three design proposals for each park, and they are awaiting your feedback. 

    Of the three proposals for Beaton Hill Park, the first one has no pickleball courts, the second one has two dedicated pickleball courts, and the third one has four.

    None of the current designs for Big Rock Park South include pickleball courts.

    What can YOU do?

    Please vote for Beaton Hill Park concept #3, “Playful Space for Everyone” while completing this survey. You don’t need to be a resident to take the survey

    Give a score of 5 to question #12 to indicate that you favor the Beaton Hill Park concept #3 with 4 dedicated pickleball courts.

    Make sure you give a score of less than 5 to all other alternatives.

    Use question #15 to express your other wishes regarding pickleball courts at either park. If you would like more than 4 courts, or would like to see lights on the courts, write it here.

    Where can I learn more?

    Learn more about this project here.

    Categories
    News

    Seattle Outdoor Pickleball Construction Briefing and Update

    We were hoping to learn more about SPR’s current plan for outdoor pickleball during this briefing, but the presentation remained at a very high-level. If you have attended Seattle Parks’ two open houses on the subject or read our post titled New Seattle Outdoor Pickleball Courts: Draft Plan, you probably know a lot more about the subject than the Commissioners do.

    A few interesting points nonetheless:

    • SPR describes pickleball’s growth as a pickleball explosion.
    • SPR gets the social nature of pickleball, as well as its drop-in culture.
    • SPR was surprised to get over 3,000 responses to their online survey.
    • SPR thinks that a few single tennis courts that are not very much used are the best candidates to be converted into dedicated pickleball courts. Unfortunately, most such courts in Seattle are smaller than regular size tennis courts. This means that once converted into pickleball courts, these pickleball courts would have less room than you might expect behind the base lines. Watch the beginning of this video to see why having space behind the baselines is important to be able to retrieve deep shots.
    • Preliminary cost estimates for two brand new dedicated pickleball facilities of 8 to 12 courts are more than originally anticipated when planning for the upcoming Seattle Parks District budget cycle.
    • SPR reports that Seattle schools might start lining some of the tennis courts at their facilities.

    You can watch the entire presentation below. We apologize for the blue box covering some of the slides.

    The entire meeting, including the presentation above is available here. This video does not have the blue box problem of the video above, but the image is not as sharp.