And with the final forehand of the morning landing harmlessly wide, the first Pickleball Company Challenge is in the books — with Diane and Curt of United Performance Metals edging out Ashley and Katie of TriHealth in the Championship match. It was a day that, because of the rain, forced play from the outdoor, makeshift courts in the Anthem BlueCross BlueShield parking lot to the indoor courts at the CourtYard Sportsplex. Nevertheless, the excitement of the morning was never dampened. The following video, captured before the rain, gives you a feel for the anticipation, excitement, and scope of the event.
Pitting Employees from Local Businesses Against Each Other in the Fastest Growing Sport — All in the Name of Fun, Camaraderie and Health & Wellness
Pickleball. It’s fun. It’s social. It’s active. It reduces stress and it will ignite positive lifestyle modifications in the lives of employees. And on Saturday morning, May 19, 2018, employees from organizations in-and-around Greater Cincinnati played pickleball — many for the very first time — and saw first-hand the critical role that this activity can play in enhancing the engagement and effectiveness of their organization’s employee wellness programs.
Learning to Play — Huge Improvement as the Morning Progressed
Pickleball is an activity that is easily learned — even in just 20-30 minutes. Between 8:15 AM and 9:00 AM, we had pickleball instructors on-site helping the participants with fundamental shot-making techniques, scoring, rules clarifications, and strategy development. Throughout the competition, we also had court monitors on each court helping to facilitate play, keep score, and answer any questions the participants may have had. Boy, were they quick learners. It wasn’t uncommon to see an 8-10 shot rally — after learning the game just minutes prior!
Here is a video, courtesy of the Jean Stewart State Farm Insurance Agency, that shows a typical point in the Challenge — and this point was from the very first match played!
A Rousing Success — Survey Says!
Survey results are now just coming in from the event… Here is a sampling of comments from the participants:
I had never played before and I had so much fun! I didn’t feel intimated at all by the more experienced players. Everyone was so helpful and gave me lots of tips! – Jodi S.
I can see why people say Pickleball is addicting, after just one morning experience I am ready to play again (again)!! Loved it and it’s great for all ages and fitness levels. – Margie N.
It was so much fun to meet new people willing to take time off of their weekends to do something healthy and super enjoyable. Looking forward to doing this again very soon. – Diane J.
I was impressed with how organized everything was, the attention to details, and the friendly way you worked with all levels to make the day a huge success. Can’t wait until the next one! – Richard A.
So. Much. Fun! – Nora H.
More on the Horizon… For Now, Here’s some Pickleball Company Challenge Highlights
What a fun day!!! The Pickleball Company Challenge had been a dream of mine for quite some time now. There’s much more on the horizon. Pickleball is a unique activity that can be leveraged as an employee wellness programming option, at company picnics, open houses, team-building events, company health & wellness weeks, and more. After all, it’s so critical to create engagement and excitement in employee wellness programs — and pickleball provides just that. Just look at the intensity and smiles that were generated from this event. Not to mention the exercise, fun, and camaraderie!!!
The Results — United Performance Metals Wins!
United Performance Metals had 3 teams in the Pickleball Company Challenge with the team of Diane and Curt winning the top prize! The TriHealth team of Ashley & Katie took second. Everyone “won,” though. Ashley of TriHealth surpassed 9,000 steps. And everyone was seemingly smiling, laughing, and having a good time — all while getting exercise and reducing stress. Can’t beat that!!!
Giving Back to the Local Community
At PickleballMAX, we are adamant about not only making changes in the lives of people in the form of exercise, relationships, and stress-reduction, but we also wanted to give back to our local community. To that end, we have donated a portion of the monies received from the Challenge to a local charity — the FreeStore Foodbank. The Freestore Foodbank is the largest emergency food and services provider to children and families in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana. The organization distributes 24 million meals annually to low-income individuals and families. With every dollar donated, the Freestore Foodbank can provide three meals to hungry children and families in the Tri-State area.
Our Sponsors — Thank You!!!
Without each and every one of our sponsors, this event would not have been possible. Thank you so much for partnering with us and believing in our mission of leveraging pickleball to literally change lives. For those of you just stopping by the blog, please consider using each of these businesses for your investment, retirement, real-estate, or pickleball needs. They are an absolute, top-notch group of companies — and people!!!
New York Life Insurance Company — Amrita Chehill & Michael Froehle
Whether you’re starting out in life or preparing to make the most of retirement, New York Life has insurance and investment options designed to help you meet your goals—for today and for all days to come. Amrita and Michael, also played in the Challenge.
Comey & Shepherd — Anne Wagner
Whether you are looking to buy or sell your home, Anne Wagner of Comey & Shepherd can help! She services the Greater Cincinnati area — including northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana.
Rec-Tech – Sport Surfacing Products
Rec-Tech specializes in ready-to-use (no mixing) pickleball (and tennis) court surfacing and repair products. Brad Eagle (and his wife) of Rec-Tech even made the drive down the night before from northeast, Ohio, to man their tent — that is, until the rain came!
Amazin’ Aces offers a full line of high-quality and reasonably-priced pickleball paddles for players of all skill-levels, abilities, and budgets. Amazin’ Aces was the paddle sponsor for the Pickleball Company Challenge and all participants without paddles played with an Amazin’ Aces paddle.
GAMMA Sports is a family-owned business with a 40-year history of developing innovative products that advance racquet sports (and paddle sports) for players of all levels. Gamma was the portable net sponsor for the Pickleball Company Challenge.
Franklin Pickleball was our ball sponsor for the Pickleball Company Challenge.
Our Volunteers — Thank You
Finally, thank you so much to our volunteers. This event could not have run as smoothly without you. We had line-taping volunteers (who were “forced” to tape multiple times because of the rain), registration volunteers, instructors, an MC, a runner, court monitors, set-up volunteers, videographers, photographers, and more. Thank you so much for joining us on this mission.
Want Additional Information about Incorporating Pickleball into your Employee Wellness Program?
If you would like more information about incorporating pickleball into your organization’s employee wellness programs, please click here. Pickleball is truly a unique and fun activity to complement your existing (or non-existent) employee wellness programming that will generate engagement and ignite positive lifestyle modifications in the lives of your employees!
Todd is the talent behind PickleballMAX. He knows pickleball and demonstrates it on the court as a 4.5 – 5.0 player. In addition to creating content and running the PickleballMAX business, Todd is IPTPA Level II certified. As an instructor at the Ohio Pickleball Academy, he instructs students and runs adult and youth clinics. He also manages tournament desks throughout the tri state for tournaments ranging from 100-500 participants.