USAPA GRANT PROGRAM
When you open the 2019 USAPA Grant Award location map (click here), you will find many new places where people are playing the sport of pickleball. Each new location was recently started by a USAPA member who wanted to introduce pickleball to their local community. They had a vision of their neighbors enjoying the sport as much as they do.
The grant program started in 2010 under the basic idea behind the program “to help our members bring pickleball to their communities and pickleball will become the fastest growing sport in America.” Since then, USAPA has helped members start up the game in numerous communities throughout the country. The organization’s initial assistance has been an integral part of the overall success and growth of each area’s dedication to pickleball.
For program details, please go to usapa.org and view the Community and High School Grant Program web pages. Please be sure to share the news about the many wonderful opportunities the Community and High School Programs offer new players.
USAPA member: Jimmi Symonds, East Palatka, FL
Approximately 100+ students at Crescent City High School and an instructor have been taught to play pickleball and continue to play recreationally.
The equipment is rotated to other city schools within our school district. Together, with another grant received, a sizeable donation was made from Pickleball for All, and equipment purchased through a national 21stCenturyAfterSchool Grant. All told, we have introduced pickleball to over 700 students, 27 teachers and para- professionals (through two teacher clinics), and have provided three community trainings for adults and students, one condominium complex clinic and three church clinics for students and adults. PE teachers have been trained and can now offer pickleball at four high schools, four middle schools and seven elementary schools. Equipment use is scheduled and rotated from school to school for instructional units. The sport continues to grow as we receive community support and students teach their parents, grandparents, family and friends. This is evidenced by continual calls for play site locations and checking out of equipment.
USAPA’s Grant Program gave the community of Putnam County a giant jump start in equipment and motivation to bring the sport of pickleball to our students and schools.
Thank you so very much for helping us get started!
USAPA member: Diane Smith, Yucaipa, CA
Initially, the biggest problem we faced was that no one had heard about pickleball. The City Council did not know what it was and it was not included in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Our little group of four had to attend City Council meetings and Parks and Recreation Committee meetings to educate them. We even played a mini-game inside the Council Chambers during their regular Council meeting. Lots of phone calls and emails eventually garnered the opportunity to play at the Community Center. We couldn’t have grown the sport if we had been limited to the one net the city provided. Thanks to the grant, we were able to start to grow the game. I don’t think we could have done anything differently. We experienced phenomenal growth in one year’s time. We worked hard and I think we did it right!
For us, the grant was a blessing. We needed more equipment and the city couldn’t provide it because their budget had already been established and pickleball wasn’t part of it. The initial group of four couldn’t afford to purchase more equipment, but now that we’ve steadily grown, several additional members have purchased nets for use at the outside courts. We definitely needed help to get started. That help came in the form of the USAPA grant program and the rest as they say is history!
USAPA member: Duane St. Clair, Columbia, MD
The Howard County School System has received seven nets, 25 paddles and 30 balls that were partially paid for with grant funds. Plans are well underway to teach students of all ages how to play pickleball during their physical education classes.
Getting young people to learn and enjoy pickleball is one of the main goals of our Pickleball Association. Supplying the equipment was essential because the schools didn’t have quite enough funding to get it started.
Many of our members contributed money to partner with the grant funds to buy the necessary equipment to get the sport up and running.
USAPA member: Ernie Medina, Grand Terrace, CA
Pickleball has emerged as a strong presence in the city of Grand Terrace. During our grand opening event of our courts, the Honorable Darcy McNaboe, Mayor of Grand Terrace picked up a paddle and thoroughly enjoyed playing the game! Our church wants to continue to grow the sport in Grand Terrace and other surrounding communities, so we have big plans for the future of pickleball, thanks to this USAPA grant!
It’s been great seed money to get us started as we used it to purchase more nets, Also, it’s been great to let our church know that we received this grant, as it displayed support from the USAPA towards our fledgling group and thus, the church and pastors took this initiative a bit more seriously.
We’re very thankful for this program and have recommended it to other non-profit organizations!