New indoor pickleball courts packed with players in Gulfport

The city opened the facility to residents on Nov.16 with more than 50 people showing up the first day to play.
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 3:40 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The turnout to play pickleball continues strong about two weeks after the debut of Gulfport’s new indoor courts at the Lyman Community Center.

The city opened the facility to residents on Nov.16 with more than 50 people showing up the first day to play.

The courts were still full on Wednesday.

“We’ve been working on this for a couple months, and we finally are seeing the fruits of our labor,” City Councilman Richard Kosloski said.

Kosloski helped spearhead the effort, along with Leisure Services Director Gus Wesson and local pickleball ambassadors Tom and Deonne Linenberger.

It is the area’s first indoor facility. Before, players had to travel to find a court.

“This covers a big area of people, and they don’t have to travel 40 or 50 miles now,” Kosloski said.

The venue now allows nearby residents like Gloria Roling and Pam Hull to play close to home.

“Having this one here is so convenient,” Roling said. “I just moved here a year ago and never played pickleball and heard about it, and I took lessons, and I was hooked. I was like, this is my new passion.”

“It’s kind of like in your backyard, and it’s really nice,” Hull said.

The game of pickleball is a cross between a little tennis, pingpong and badminton.

It’s the fastest-growing sport in the country, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.

“It’s really helped me, just, physically,” Roling said. “You know, with my balance and everything else.”

“You sort of regain your hand-eye coordination,” Hull added.

The two also say it is a short learning curve and fun for all ages and fitness levels.

“You wake up the next day, and you want to come back,” Hull said.

The new indoor pickleball courts are open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon at the Lyman Community Center in Gulfport.

“So far, it’s been very successful, and we’re looking forward to even more success on it,” Kosloski said. “It’s been a really good thing.”

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