BRICK – The Brick Township Recreation Center is filled with Senior Citizens on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. But on these days you won’t see anyone playing bingo or knitting blankets. What you’ll find are friendly yet competitive games of pickleball – a sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.
Designed for all ages and skill levels, pickleball has simple, easy to-learn rules, and is played with a paddle, a plastic ball, and a net. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, there are more than 2.46 million Pickleball participants in the United States, including Brick residents Gloria Fagan, 90, and Yechiel Amir, 86.
Gloria, who was born the same day and year as Yogi Berra, has always enjoyed playing racquet sports. Knee and shoulder issues have limited how often Gloria is able to play tennis but pickleball allows her to remain active because it is much less demanding on the body. For Yechiel, who has been a Brick resident since moving from Israel in 1970, pickleball is a way to stay active while socializing with his peers. “Everyone is so friendly and I really enjoy the game,” he said.
Two weeks ago, members of the Brick Recreation Youth Council joined the Seniors for their Thursday pickleball games. Although ages ranged from 12 to 90, everyone was able to play at an equal level. Mayor Ducey also attended that day to check out the action.
“It’s great to see Brick residents of all ages playing pickleball together,” said Mayor Ducey. “We are looking to expand the game throughout Brick on our outdoor courts soon.” An outdoor pickelball court is available at Bernie Cook Park, and additional outdoor courts are planned at Angela Hibbard Park and the Municipal Tennis Courts at Town Hall. The reconstruction at Angela Hibbard Park is nearly complete, with a grand opening expected in May. The redesign of the Municipal Tennis Courts is in process with resurfacing sometime this year.
Mayor Ducey also praised the Brick Recreation Youth Council for their 655 volunteer hours this year so far. Their goal is to reach 1,000 volunteer hours by the end of the year.
“From hosting youth dances to helping out with Rec sports games and Summerfest, our all-volunteer Youth Council is a great asset to Brick,” proclaimed Mayor Ducey.
If you are interested in participating in Brick Recreation pickleball, please join us on Tuesdays (for Brick residents and non-residents) and Thursdays (for Brick residents only) at Civic Plaza – 270 Chambers Bridge Road in Brick from 1:45-3:45 pm. For more information, please call Brick Recreation at 732-262-1044.