Pickleball volunteers make all the difference


Andrea Molberg

SaddleBrooke Pickleball Association (SPA) has 763 members, a sign of the tremendous popularity of this sport and the friendliness of players on the courts. Not HOA financed, pickleball funding comes from dues and donations. SPA volunteers like Sue Diericks donate their time.

Every club relies on its members to volunteer and often a small number do most of the serving. We appreciate them!

Recently I asked Sue about her involvement:

Tell me about how you were introduced to Pickleball?

“We had friends in SaddleBrooke and six years ago my husband and I wintered and rented at SaddleBrooke Ranch. The Ranch gave us paddles to use and we got hooked. Three years ago we decided to live in SaddleBrooke year-round.”

What makes this sport so popular?

“Because you exercise and socialize at the same time. Pickleball players are a good group of people who like to have fun and it’s a sport for all ages. When our grandkids, who are six and eight, visit they play with us. It’s a family event.”

What are your volunteer responsibilities?

“I provide supplies to the bathroom – it’s easy, not a big deal, a little thing that people need – and I’m happy to do it.”

Why did you get involved?

“I’m dedicated to this sport and want SPA to be the best it can be. Everybody needs to do their share. There are a lot of others things I can’t do – like cleaning the courts or being part of the Edwin cleanup crew.”

How much time does it take?

“Whenever I’m at the courts, I just stick my head in and make sure ample supplies are on the shelf so people can help themselves. When I go to the store or order online, I get more supplies. I’m not playing much right now because I broke my wrist in September, but I still go down to the courts to socialize, see friends and go to breakfast with them! It’s not a hardship. I hope to play again after Thanksgiving.”

What does SPA need?

“Support from our community. Both HOAs need to recognize how important pickleball is to maintain our home values and keep SaddleBrooke desirable. We’re an ‘active adult community,’ and therefore we have to provide the facilities.”

“We need more pickleball courts. HOA Two has negotiated land for SPA to build more courts after transition. SaddleBrooke only has six regulation courts now. Having lights would extend playtime on already overcrowded courts. Playing under them at the Ranch has been great. We also need more parking right away so recreational vehicles and maintenance trucks can get through safely. Hopefully HOA One will allow us to build a parking lot on a small part of their unused land.”

“If I had one wish for SPA it would be to have indoor pickleball courts. Being a full-time resident I could play anytime during the day, even in the summer.”

Thanks, Sue!