Fun in the Sun and Nights Too at the USAPA Ambassador Retreat

Fun in the Sun and Nights Too at the USAPA Ambassador Retreat

The six-day, five-night extravaganza featured lots and lots of fun, a lot of pickleball, but also offered attendees invaluable information. Special sessions and USAPA presentations were held throughout the week with numerous topics covered including: membership services, referee certification, new ratings system, using Facebook Live and its streaming feature, membership benefits and access rewards and rule changes for 2018, among many others. Also included was a three-hour training session that is a prerequisite for referee certification.

Away from the meeting rooms and scheduled sessions, Club Med extended their world-famous welcoming hand with sumptuous meals morning, noon and night. Ambassadors and USAPA regional directors unwound at pre-dinner cocktail parties before embarking on delectable dinners followed by evening shows and for those who can shake, rattle and roll, a few dance competitions. Pickleballers are a lively bunch and they strutted their stuff on the dance floor! CJ was in the middle of those too! And, always a friendly or competitive game of pickleball was ready and waiting as courts were open for daily play.
One of the highlights of the week-long festivities was the “Clinic Capers,” coordinated by Kalamazoo, Michigan ambassadors Yvonne and Jim Hackenberg. Each player was assigned a starting court and the pickling ambassador would guide them through skills, drills and fun. With nine clinics in all ranging from pin point serve, to drop in the bucket to staying grounded to shooting for the moon, players would move to the court to their right after successfully completing their caper. One of the favorite capers of all – “Pass the Stick,” a no-points, hilarious activity where each team has only one paddle that must be passed to each teammate after each hit. Many of the retreat attendees enjoyed this endeavor the most and made the exercise their own personal playground.

Retreat attendees had nothing but great things to say about their time at Club Med –

It’s great to meet the other Ambassadors and get a chance to discuss how to continue to grow the sport.” — Mark Nelson, Lincoln, Nebraska.

The food was great, the beds were incredibly comfortable and all the amenities were really good. Lots of pickleball and playing with new people is a plus. Camaraderie with everyone is just fantastic!” – Bonnie Sidwell, Paso Robles, California

The food has been fabulous and our room was fantastic. But, nothing compares to the friendship exhibited by fellow ambassadors. I can’t wait to share what I have learned and grow our sport in every way.” – Lisa Hart, Columbus, Tennessee.

As always, sponsors played an important role in the overall success and fun of this year’s retreat. Sponsors included Franklin, Engage Pickleball, Paddletek, Pickleball Central, Pure Pickleball, Gamma Pickleball, Head, Onix, California Sports Surfaces and Selkirk Sport.


USAPA Sponsors