Covid hovers, SMPA Keeps Active
Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) managed successful ventures in 2021, despite Covid interruptions to indoor play and winter rains that limited outdoor play. SMPA members across the metro area played in the rain and snow, competed in tournaments, organized play groups on PlayTime Scheduler, and joined or renewed their SMPA membership. That’s you, reader, masking up indoors to play this fun sport, bundling up for outdoor pickleball games, raising money to buy more nets, keeping your playgroup intact.
SMPA delivered more than a dozen rain shuttle squeegees to venues from Shoreline, West Seattle, Capitol Hill, to Kirkland, and Bellevue last year. To improve accessibility to play, SMPA-supported donor groups placed two more nets at Shoreline courts, and additional semipermanent nets at the very popular Green Lake venue. All in all, through coordinated city grants and large and small donor groups, we have placed almost two dozen semipermanent nets on pickleball courts in the Seattle Metro area.
SMPA can do things like this because our members actively engage all year long in local play activities. Overall, there are now more indoor venues (when there’s no Covid closures) because SMPA members advocate for pickleball players with their local Parks Departments and community centers.
As with any non-profit, the SMPA Board meets monthly to work on future projects, address current issues, and focus on business. In spring of 2022, please watch out for the following and, when the time comes, please attend our 2022 online Annual Meeting (Covid concerns prevail) and vote for the next slate of Directors replacing retiring and termed-out Directors.
- SMPA Board member slate announced April 2022
- Ballots sent by email to members in mid April 2022
- Online Annual Meeting late April 2022
Bellevue Parks 6-year Plan
The first draft of the Bellevue Parks and Open Spaces System Plan includes these highlights.
“An emerging sport is pickleball and there is demand locally for court space. It is a priority to investigate pickleball facility options for the future. Courts may be indoor or outdoor and both are desired.”
“The city is committed to re-striping tennis courts for pickleball use, while investigating options for implementing pickleball nets”
“In the longer-term, plan outreach noted interest in a dedicated pickleball court cluster that can be used for group play.”
“The city will continue to work with the pickleball community and regional partners to assess opportunities for dedicated court development in new and existing parks.”
See the previous plan here. And then? Call your city council representative and ask for their support for pickleball.
Seattle Outdoor Pickleball Demand Study
Seattle Parks and Rec (SPR) allocated $50,000 to pay for consultants to complete an Outdoor Pickleball Demand Study. They tell us to expect a survey and two public meetings where the public will have a chance to make themselves heard.
State Sport of Washington
Washington legislative Bill 5615, designating pickleball as the official sport of the state of Washington, is moving along. On Friday, the bill was approved by the Senate State Government & Elections Committee. The bill now moves to the Rules Committee.
Bill 5615 will need to be approved by both the state House and Senate before it becomes official.
What can you do? Leave a comment in support of this bill, or call your Washington state legislators and ask them to pass the bill. Having pickleball as the official state sport of Washington would be way beyond cool, and increase the visibility of the sport without us pickleball-playing taxpayers spending a dime in promotions. Let’s get this done.
Be Our 2022 SMPC Volunteer Coordinator
The Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic tournament needs you! Or someone you may know with the connections and personal skills to reach out to and organize the many volunteers who’ll help run a successful July 2022 pickleball tournament in Shoreview Park.
You can read the complete description of coordinator duties here. If you’re interested, reach out to the tournament committee, already meeting every two weeks to plan for the best tournament and best player (and volunteer) experience possible.
How do we pay for the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic (SMPC) tournament? Mostly through registration fees, and in part through sponsorships. We can happily announce that Humana healthcare has signed on as our first Title Sponsor.
As the tournament grows, we need those sponsorships more than ever. If your business or organization, or someone you know, would be a good sponsors fit to help create a successful July 2022 tournament in Shoreview Park, please reach out to the committee, or better yet, directly to Dennis Poppe, local pickleball player and USA Pickleball National Champion (2021), who’s helped develop our sponsorship program this year. Dennis will work directly with those interested in becoming a sponsor in 2022.
New SMPA Online Apparel Store
SMPA opened a new online merchandise store late last year, featuring hoodies, as well as a variety of dry-fit type shirts for women and men. Run by the same vendor who made last year’s great SMPC tournament shirts, the 3rd party store site offers size, color, and style variety. Check it out here!
This is SMPA membership renewal time for many of you. A click on the Join button takes you to our 3rd-party membership website. MemberPlanet securely manages our membership database so we can focus on pickleball, our members, and growing the sport across the Seattle metro area. We are grateful for your support and, if you have gotten a reminder, please take a moment and re-up. For those of you who left autorenewal in place, the $20 charge will appear on your valid credit card.
Questions about your membership renewal or status? Contact us and we’ll try to help.