Farmington is hooked on America’s fastest-growing sport
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FARMINGTON, N.M. — Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. In the Four Corners, the sport is booming.
Pickleball is a mash up between ping pong, tennis and badminton. It has been around for 57 years.
“Our group is growing, we have a club of 71 members right now,” said Lona Warren, one of two local pickleball ambassadors. “But overall there are over 100 players here in Farmington. In our club, the youngest player is 15 and oldest player is 92.”
One of those players is Randy Mason. He said the game isn’t about who wins or loses – but the friendships made on the court.
“It’s probably a combination of the comradery with friends and people that I have gotten to know along with just playing the game, you get to play with people that like something that you like, and that’s what I like about it,” Mason said.
But there weren’t any courts dedicated to the growing sport in Farmington, until recently.
“We went to the city council meeting and we were asking for permanent pickleball courts. We are very fortunate we had a mayor that encourage the city council and they voted unanimously to get us 6 permanent pickleball courts.”
With those new courts expected to open any day now, local pickleball players hope to make Farmington a destination for the game.
“I would like to see this as a hub for people traveling through our area because we are so rich in culture and activities,” said Robert David, a pickleball player and former ambassador.
Warren added that pickleball is played in 53 countries. Once it’s played in 75 countries, it will become an Olympic sport.