New pickleball courts in Pottsville a hit with attendees at opening festivities

POTTSVILLE — A repurposed tennis court area that is now four pickleball courts at the Bunker Hill Park and Playground was a hit with those who played there Friday.

One by one, paddles swung in the air hitting pickleballs over the net, just shy of it or outside the court.

“Great shot,” one player exclaimed as he complimented another.

City leaders were at the site at Eighth and Pierce streets at noon to celebrate the grand opening. City Administrator Thomas A. Palamar thanked all who attended.

“This is a really great addition to the City of Pottsville,” Mayor Dave Clews said to the approximate 30 people in attendance.

The regulation courts are 44 feet long by 20 feet wide. The area features LED lighting, bench seating, parking and 24-hour video surveillance.

The courts are the first fully equipped pickleball courts in the city. There are two pickleball courts at Rotary Park, which is along 20th Street between Mahantongo and West Norwegian streets, but there is no equipment there yet.

Dave Clark, director of parks and recreation, credited city resident Debby Moran with the idea of bringing pickleball to Pottsville.

Moran, who vacations in Florida and played the sport there, had approached Palamar about the idea several times and told him that city residents would enjoy it.

“I think this is going to be a big success,” she said at Friday’s event.

Regina Freiler, 66, of Pottsville, also enjoys playing, something she started a few months ago. Her daughter bought her a paddle as a Christmas gift.

“It’s fast and you’re able to do it, and it’s not that complicated,” Freiler said.

Apparently, local people enjoy the sport. A Facebook page entitled “Pottsville Area Pickleball” has 186 members so far.