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Pickleball: Community of Positivity

I have played pb for well over 14 years.  I have played at a very high, competitive level (4.5+) and won a few gold medals.  4 years ago I had a terrible car accident where I was side-swiped by a semi-trailer which sent my vehicle into a side over side roll 4 times. 

I walked away from that accident with “only” a concussion, whiplash, and some ligament damage to my shoulder.  I spent nearly 2 months sitting in a chair with sunglasses on because everything else hurt.  It hurt to move, to listen, to read.  Needless to say, I wasn’t playing pb.  It was depressing, in fact, it made me lonely.  

The pb community reached out regularly by phone to let me know they missed me and were looking forward to my return.  This helped drive my recovery, as slow as it was.  Lots of physio on my shoulder and a lot of various treatments to my neck which will never be good again, it’s just tolerated now.  I worked hard to get back.  I truly realized the BEST part of pb is the people. 

Pickle in the Park 2019 at MSA -Fraser Valley Pickleball event.


I had taken for granted the kinship I had made on the courts had become such a huge part of my life.  A true case of “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”.  I tell you this not to gain sympathy or to bring you down, quite the opposite.  Pb and its community have a healing effect.  Getting back to play again was a goal I knew I would accomplish.  That first day back on the courts was very emotional inwardly; not because I was once again embraced by those I hadn’t interacted with for months, but because a part of me that had been missing, was back.

Fast forward to the present day and I can’t quite move as well; my shots aren’t quite as sharp; and I will likely never be a 4.5+ player hitting flying smashes;  however, none of that really matters. 

It is the community, the people, the friendships, the laughs, the camaraderie that really makes this sport unique and amazing.  I decided to focus on THAT part of the game and started some fun, social, organized  play which has grown by leaps and bounds.  I LOVE hosting that session.  To see the smiles, the laughs; the high fives; the hugs; the excitement,  the improvement in players abilities over time… THAT is what makes this game so much fun to me now.  

I’m so proud to see new players who  have only a couple of games under their belt come to me and say “I’ve heard your session is where I start…” yes, yes it is… come let me introduce you to  some amazing people, play, have FUN, become part of our amazing group!  All of the folks in my session seem to share in my values as they also seem to  welcome new people openly, with respect, and compassion and help them learn the game that they too love; knowing that at some point, someone did the same for them!  

The greatest thing a pb player can do is give back, even a little.  Take a moment to encourage a new player “...that was a great shot!”  or “...really nice serve there”... “Hey, come have a game with me!”; little things like that grow the game.  Encourage one another; enjoy the togetherness; savor the camaraderie; compete respectfully and graciously; but most of all, enjoy all the little moments as they happen; take in the community of positivity that surrounds you each and every day!

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Welcome, pickleball enthusiasts, to the inaugural blog entry of the Abbotsford Pickleball Association! We are thrilled to embark on this journey of sharing our passion for pickleball with you through


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I agree with all the sentiments already expressed! You are a fantastic example in so many ways! Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for all the time you devote to making pickleball a positive experience for so many.


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A little shocked ! You are a amazing encourager and make pickleball Fun ! Sorry you had to go through all that , such respect for your journey - thank you !


Thank you so much for sharing your story Gene… glad you are ok and back to playing, Thank you for everything you have done for this pickleball community!


You are an inspiration! They for sharing your story!!


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So glad you recovered Gene, I'm sure it wasn't easy. I feel fortunate to belong to such a great club.

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