Burnley Leisure members have been the first in the North West to take a swing at one of the fastest-growing sports in the North America.

A group of six people had a go at pickleball at St Peter’s Leisure Centre, Burnley, learning the rules of the game and practicing playing it with each other.

Following the successful taster session, the game will also be made available for both residents and Burnley Leisure members as part of the Active Adults programme starting 24th April.

Burnley Leisure’s development manager Paul Foster said: “Pickleball has been invented as a backyard game, but over the years it has become a very popular sport across the US.

“It’s very popular between adults and children as it is a fun game for players of all ages and skill levels.

“We’re always looking for new and unusual sports and games to introduce to our facilities, giving a wider choice of activities for our customers.”

Even though pickleball originates in the US, it travelled all the way from Far East to reach Burnley residents.

A former Burnley Leisure employee Elaine Shallcross brought the game from Thailand where she spends a lot of her time.

Elaine said: “Pickleball is an excellent activity for cardio, balance, hand-eye coordination and for the social aspect too.

“It is an easy and fun game to learn, and I hope residents enjoyed playing it. The feedback from participants has been very positive and very encouraging for the future growth of the game.”

Pickleball was named after a boisterous dog and, despite what the name would suggest, there are no pickles actually involved in pickleball.

It is a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.

The rules are simple and the game is fun and easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quicker paced, competitive game for experienced players.

Pickleball is played with a lightweight paddle and a plastic air ball.

Burnley Leisure invites people to come and give pickleball a try. For further information please call 01282 664444.

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