Pickleballers Campaign for More Courts in Beach Haven

By Eric Englund | Sep 04, 2019
Beach Haven —

Pickleball enthusiasts could form a contingent at the Beach Haven Borough Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.

Andrea Jones, who played a major role in bringing the sport to Beach Haven in recent years, is asking borough officials to expand pickleball facilities in Beach Haven by adding three courts to the Nelson Avenue park. She said the additional facilities “will enhance the community, its residents, and visitors.”

In a letter to the council, she wrote that pickleball is a popular racquet sport that is growing “exponentially.”

“As the sport is easy to learn and the equipment is relatively inexpensive, it attracts a diverse population of men and women from children to senior citizens,” she said. “It is also a very social game, promoting the interactions among players who may be neighbors or summertime friends.”

 Jones said the park currently has six courts lined for pickleball play. 

“The game is played by four players on a court, thus only 24 players can play at any one time,” said Jones. “On an average morning during the summer, these courts see an average of 70+ players, limiting the amount of play within the four hours organized period. This has caused significant wait times in between games for the players, diminishing the experience.”

 She said the courts are used by both residents and vacationers.

“The morning organized play has a number of ‘regulars’ that have formed a social community ... that might not have had otherwise the opportunity to become friends,” wrote Jones. “In addition, these courts are well attended by vacationers. Their enjoyment of the courts enhances their experience in Beach Haven and increases the attractiveness of Beach Haven rental properties as this is an activity not currently offered in many nearby beach towns. The organized play also attracts many day visitors from other parts of Long Beach Island and the mainland bringing potential consumers to our community and generating revenue for the town. Investing in this capital improvement in the upcoming budget is an investment in Beach Haven’s future.”

Jones initiated an email campaign to urge pickleball players to attend the meeting, asking them to “bring your paddles to show your support and wear your pickleball shirt.”

Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis said she favors making more courts available

“To add courts would be a sound business decision,” she said. “The sport’s popularity is bringing a lot of people to Beach Haven. I drive by the park on some mornings and there are many people waiting to play, so we need more courts.”  —E.E.     

 

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