A sport with an unusual name may lure Rome’s active adult community into even more activity as pickleball starts up Thursday at the Thornton Recreation Center.

Pickleball is a game similar to tennis, according to Tammy Bryant, special populations coordinator for the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority,

“It is sort of a combination of tennis and ping pong,” she explained. “It can be played indoors or outdoors. The net is lower and the paddles are bigger.”

Bryant said the game is a great alternative for seniors who are worried about the stress a full game of tennis could put on their bodies.

“The court is not as wide and there are always two people on each side of the net, so it does not involve as much running back and forth,” she added.

Offering a pickleball option just seemed to be in the stars for the recreation authority, Bryant said.

“One of our seniors came back from visiting in Utah and he had played there and loved it, so he mentioned it to  me,” she said. “And then our tennis coordinator, David Azaria, told me he’d found some pickleball equipment. It seemed like we were meant to try.”

Bryant said she had hoped to invite locals to find out more about the game last week, but the weather intruded.

“We’ve done a couple of demonstrations to show our seniors what it is like, but we rescheduled the introductory meeting for Thursday,” she said.

Anyone interested in participating is invited to come at 3:30 p.m. to the recreation center in North Floyd Park off U.S. 27, across from Armuchee High School.

“Our ultimate goal is to start a pickleball association here,” Bryant said. “The game is quite popular out west and we think it would be a great fit here, as well. It really helps with coordination and reflexes while not causing too much strain.”

There is no charged to participate, she added. For more information, call Bryant at 706-252-6427.


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