State College YMCA to Open New Outdoor Pickleball Courts –


Five new pickleball courts will open in July 2021 at the State College YMCA. Photo by YMCA of Centre County
The YMCA of Centre County’s State College Branch is just about ready to open its new outdoor pickleball facility after nearly three years of planning and fundraising by community members, volunteers and staff.
Five state-of-the-art, fenced pickleball courts at the 677 W. Whitehall Rd. complex were made possible with support from the Louis E. Silvi Foundation and community donors.
Throughout July, the Y will offer a special promotion allowing free pickleball play on the new courts for anyone — members or nonmembers. Check-in at the front desk is required, and for more information call 814-237-7717.
From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on July 31, the Y will host a grand opening event for the new facility, which is located on the Waupelani Drive side of the grounds. Free and open to all ages, the celebration will include a brief ribbon cutting ceremony, food, prize drawings and opportunities to play on the new courts.
Volunteer pickleball instructors also will be on hand to provide brief lessons.
The State College Y has become a hub for pickleball, offering indoor play on shared-use courts and outdoors on the inline skating rink. But this will be its first dedicated courts designed specifically for pickleball, something that’s in high demand as the sport has grown in popularity throughout the area.
Ten courts in six Centre Region parks are dual-lined for both tennis and pickleball. Green Hollow Park in Patton Township has four pickleball-only courts, and their growing popularity has caused consternation among neighboring residents over increased noise and parking issues.
Local pickleball enthusiasts like Drew Von Tish recognized the growing need for facilities for the sport and were instrumental in the planning and fundraising.
“We were growing here exponentially. Every week there would be new players coming out. Three times a year we would be running clinics, and they would be full,” Von Tish said earlier this year. “We were going to need a bigger, better home. It was just practical.”
As donations came in from around the community, along with some grants, the dream of new purpose-built courts started to become a reality, and the Y was a natural home for it.
“We simply provided the space and the pickleballers provided the finances, along with some grants we were able to receive for the new pickleball court project,” Josh Cone, the Y’s senior director of health & wellness, said. “We see the potential growth of the sport over the coming years along with the population that the State College YMCA serves and feel it is a good fit. We aim to grow the bonds of the community and do whatever we can to keep people of all ages and backgrounds moving and healthy.”
Town&Gown’s Vincent Corso contributed to this story.
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