Winter 2020 Newsletter (January)

Mosqueda Wants Input on Seattle’s Budget

Seattle Citywide Council Member Teresa Mosqueda, as new Chair of the Housing and Finance Committee, wants to share her priorities for the city’s 2021 budget. As she points out in her mailing, the Council and the public (that’s you and me, pickleball players!) get about two months for the budget process. In those two months, they have to receive, review, understand, change, and pass the budget. They are doing what they call a “robust community engagement process” in the next few months.

That means we need to ready our pens, pencils, keyboards, and any other means of communicating to the Seattle City Council’s and the Finance and Housing committee. Take a few minutes to let them know that it’s time to put pickleball into the budget as a line item and not leave us begging for Seattle Parks and Rec (SPR) leftovers.

Ask them to treat us as a viable sport, and request that they line more courts, make more indoor time available, and work toward dedicated pickleball facilities. You can click the image to send an email. As you can see, SPR and the City Council know we’re here and we’re not going away.

Parks District Wants to Hear From You!

This past summer, SPR began a strategic planning process where they talked to over 10,000 community members about the future of Seattle’s parks and recreation facilities. They’ve used that input to develop a plan that further commits their department to using SPR resources to create equity in Seattle through investments in creating a healthy environment, supporting healthy lifestyles, and uplifting and strengthening our communities. The Park District budget will support these commitments.

There are many ways to join in the discussion for the next 6-year budget, and as you may have noted in the lead article featuring Citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, there is a very short cycle for setting, reviewing, and ultimately passing the SPR budget. You can reach the Parks District budget planners using any or all of the following means.

  • Attend one of the public meetings
  • Email them at
  • Take a look at their website
  • Get yourself and some pickleball pals and give public testimony at an upcoming Park District Oversight/Park Board Committee Meeting, February 2020 through May 2020. Find a night to attend and take your paddles and pickleball partners. Meeting dates are listed here.

Better yet, try to attend one of these meetings.

SMPA Anchor Events in 2020

You made your year-end donations to the organizations you most love. Next up, getting involved in things you love. Whether you’re feeling a bit short of cash or not, this is an excellent time to consider becoming a volunteer for the coming SMPA events that we’ve planned.

In 2020, the SMPA Board hosts the Annual Member meeting at the end of March, a well-liked Fourth of July Shootout event, the SMPC tournament in July, and has plans for clinics, a Meet and Greet and Play Day, and new this year, Junior clinics and play events. Events such as these are only possible because of the generous involvement of pickleball volunteers.

We invite you, and maybe even beg a little, too, to send a note to Volunteer. One of our Board members will connect you to an event that suits you, and together we can welcome new players into the fold, introduce junior players to the great game of pickleball, or make sure that our planned events run smoothly. Join in! Meet new pickleball friends! Give back to the sport of pickleball. It’s a service you won’t regret.

SMPA President’s 2020 Message

2020 is off to a busy start with some great things queued up for the year.

SAVE THE DATE! Our second SMPA Annual Meeting is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, March 29, 2020, at Rainer Community Center. Our Planning Committee is working on a slightly different format this year which is intended to provide more pickleball play and less waiting than last year. The business portion of the meeting will again be short. Next month and in advance of the meeting, we’ll publish the formal Annual Meeting notice with the Agenda and slate of directors recommended by the Board for election.

The Board continues to work to develop more pickleball play opportunities. In response to member input, Frank Chiappone, Director and Chairman of our Play Committee has been working with SPR to create special “members only” weekend play opportunities. SMPA will soon be publishing a couple of possible programs and asking for members’ input. Based upon members’ responses, SMPA will secure certain community centers for the days and times preferred. Please be sure to respond to Frank’s solicitation if your are interested. Depending upon the level of interest additional “members only” weekend or weeknight opportunities may be offered later.

We are pleased to announce that SMPA member Dennis Jackson has been working with our Treasurer, Drew Thoresen, to submit another grant to be used to purchase three outdoor semi-permanent pickleball nets to be placed at Delridge. If any other members are interested in applying for net grants where they play definitely let us know. We are happy to assist in guiding you through this process.

We continue to search for potential dedicated pickleball court sites. In the past month alone we considered two or three sites working with SMPA member Paul Reed. These efforts remain a work in process. Progress is slow; regardless, we invite anyone who has any ideas about locations to contact us. We promise to follow up on any suggestions and are happy to work with or support your efforts to do so.

On January 29th, several SMPA Directors met with Tim Pretare of SPR to discuss a variety of topics, particularly involving indoor play, which is under Tim’s purview. The meeting was informative and Tim was, as always, helpful. During the meeting, Tim indicated that SPR had favorably considered providing pickleball machines at South Park and Delridge, with details to be worked out. He promised no dates for delivery, however, we understood it would be in the near term. The original “ask” for pickleball machines and surrounding organizing efforts were the result of SMPA members working behind the scenes. Kudos to all of you who’ve written and emailed SPR!

Last month, we worked with two pickleball groups in our metro area to promote our beloved sport.

  • First, we were contacted by one of the organizers of a new pickleball club, the Thurston County Pickleball Club. This group is in the early formative stages and we were delighted to answer their questions and share our experience. We welcome the Thurston County Pickleball Club to Thurston County and wish them every success.
  • Second, we committed to work with the Bainbridge Founders club to jointly promote our respective tournaments this summer. Our SMPC Tournament Committee will be working with them and we are pleased to develop this relationship further. We were happy to support the building of the Bainbridge Island Founders Courts by purchasing a commemorative brick in the name of Seattle Metro Pickleball Association.

Finally, we completed negotiations with Mike Hoxie, of Pickleball is Great, to return as our Tournament Director again this year for the SMPC Tournament, July 24-26, 2020. Mike was just recognized as an “Ultimate Influencer” of our sport in this month’s USAPA Magazine, and we look forward to another terrific tournament under Mike’s direction.

Until next time, play hard and have fun on the courts.

Seattle Metro Pickleball Association

Jerry Kindinger, President