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The Pickler I Met: Anna Leigh Waters – The Future of Pickleball

News Stacie Townsend 11-25-2017

By now, I hope you have had a chance to read Our Story, which features the first Pickler I met, 90-year-old Charlie. It is likely no surprise to you that Charlie fits the demographic of the majority of Picklers, as according to the USAPA, over 75% of Picklers in the United States are over the age of 55. Today’s blog describes a Pickler in stark contrast to Charlie and the rest of the majority of Picklers. Today’s blog is about a prime example of what may be the future of pickleball.

Anna Leigh was my first tournament Pickler. By this I mean, she was my partner for my first official pickleball tournament. Until I met Anna Leigh, I (at the age of 29) had yet to feel old on the pickleball court. However, Anna Leigh, who is 10 years old, races around the pickleball court with more exuberance and more grace than me (whether now or ever). With help from her tennis background, Anna Leigh has a knack for ripping forehands and backhands right at her unexpecting opponents, while constantly carrying a smile and keeping her blonde braid intact under her Pickler visor.

Surprisingly, Anna Leigh was introduced to the sport of pickleball just two months ago. Anna Leigh and her family evacuated their home in Delray Beach, Florida to head north to Pennsylvania due to Hurricane Irma in September. Upon landing in Pennsylvania, Anna Leigh and her family (including her mother, Leigh, who is also a killer Pickler) learned the game of pickleball to pass the time. Just two months later, Anna Leigh won gold in her first pickleball tournament. I, like many of you, may be shocked by Anna Leigh’s breadth of pickleball knowledge, strategy and skill in such a short amount of time. However, after getting to know Anna Leigh, it is not surprising that she has become a quick study of the game of pickleball, as she is a true competitor, athlete and student of the game. Anna Leigh is a breath of fresh air on the pickleball court and a pleasure to play both with or against in social and competitive play. She is definitely one to watch and will continue to be one to watch for years to come.

Do you know any young pickleball talents? We would love to hear about the young pickleball talents that will soon be the face of pickleball. Please share with us and brag about his or her pickleball accomplishments by posting on our Facebook page ( or by sending an e-mail to us at


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