The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Pickleball is a dill-light to play

Through a fun, sociable environment, BREC Pickleball encourages people to use pickleball as a way to exercise with friends.

Few would expect a small sport like pickleball to be more than what’s on the surface. But to the Brookline Recreation Department (BREC) players, pickleball is a gateway to a new community and a way to exercise with friends.

BREC offers pickleball programs to help people improve their skills by taking advantage of the accessibility of the sport to provide lessons for many different groups of people.

BREC pickleball coordinator Jacob Martin grew up playing pickleball. Martin said pickleball is growing a lot because of the wide range of people who can play it.

“It’s this perfect mix of ability where if you can only do one type of movement based on any potential disabilities or mobility issues you may have, you can still fully play the game and participate,” Martin said.

Martin said he works alongside Craig Corcoran, a USA Pickleball Ambassador, who teaches the pickleball programs. Corcoran said his initial interest in the sport came from the emotional, mental, social and health benefits.

“I started playing in the summer of 2018 and quickly became addicted. I think I played every day for 3-4 months. I loved playing because pickleball was so much fun, social, fast & healthy,” Corcoran wrote in an email.

Corcoran said he started leading the BREC pickleball program in 2019 by teaching classes and clinics. He said he loves playing the sport and teaching it. He especially enjoys his students’ “aha” moment when they play.

“The exhilaration I get when I am able to move a player from point A to point B and they see their own improvement continues to be incredibly fulfilling for me,” Corcoran said in an email.

Martin said he loves the pickleball community because everybody plays to have fun. Tennis and ping pong can be very competitive or relaxed, whereas pickleball is a happy medium, allowing everybody to have fun together.

“Most of the time, Craig doesn’t have to do too much instructing because everyone’s just playing and teaching each other, which is just a wonderful aspect,” Martin said.

Brookline resident Claudia Dupre got into pickleball about a year and a half ago. She said it was great to see senior citizens getting active and enjoying themselves.

“I’ve played with people of all ages, but it’s been really awesome to find people that are in their 50s, 60s, 70s that are active and in good health and playing pickleball,” Dupre said.

According to Dupre, she turned 60 before she discovered pickleball. Reaching such a big milestone was challenging for her mental health, but when she found pickleball, she also found an accepting community that helped her through her struggles.

“I found pickleball, and I really enjoyed it, and I met all these people,” Dupre said. “Before finding pickleball, I was depressed, and now I am so happy and I have a T-shirt that says pickleball is my therapy.”

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