Meet Pickler John Cioffoletti (featured above in his Pickler Pickleball Power Play Performance Tee Shirt).
John started playing pickleball upon his retirement in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, after a friend introduced him to the sport around June 2014. However, John had to wait until September 2014 to play because there were no available pickleball courts in the area. The only available pickleball courts were at the community indoor gym, which was out-of-commission due to summer school camps. No outdoor pickleball courts existed in the area at the time.
John teamed up with Martha Gilbert and the local USAPA ambassador to change that. This team of three researched and brainstormed potential outdoor pickleball sites, and discovered that the City of Palm Beach Gardens reserved part of its budget to repurpose an unused roller rink at a local public park. With their pitch ready, John, Martha and the local USAPA ambassador presented their idea to the City Council and City Mayor, which was quickly accepted. Palm Beach Gardens, Florida soon had its first six outdoor pickleball courts, which cost a fraction of the City’s reserved budget.
John and Martha were not done just yet, though. This dynamic duo went on to convince the City of Palm Beach Gardens to add another six outdoor pickleball courts to the City’s pristine tennis center (which, to note, John used his engineering background to configure a way to double the number of pickleball courts from what the City originally proposed—from three to six!—using the same allocated space). Thanks to the pickleball activism of both John and Martha, the Picklers of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida have some amazing pickleball facilities to play on every day.
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Since returning to professional pickleball this year, after taking a long COVID hiatus, Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters have been traveling the country for pickleball tournaments. But, one thing that that they have not done in a really long time is take a family vacation... until now. Learn about Team Waters' trip to Costa Rica from Leigh herself, which included as much, or more, pickleball than at home in Florida, monkey spectators, family bonding, surfing, and a lot of new friends made on the Costa Rican pickleball courts, which reminded them how much fun the great sport of pickleball really is.