In November almost 2,300 pickleball players travelled from afar to the beautiful Indian Wells Tennis Garden (IWTG) to participate in the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships. The weather was picture perfect. There were numerous age and gender divisions with skill ratings from 3.0 to 5.0 besides the two open pro divisions, who competed for part of the $75,000 in prize funds. The IWTG converted 11 tennis courts into 44 pickleball courts and also set-up Stadium Court 3 as their single “show” court. They also added three food venues, an outdoor bar with plenty of shaded seating and tables, numerous sponsor tents, multiple video screens displaying court assignments for the players, and nightly entertainment. To date this was the largest pickleball tournament in the nation, as this ever popular sport has rapidly become the fastest growing activity among seniors.
The SCSH Pickleball Club was well represented with numerous teams from their 300-member club. All of the teams played hard with desire, skill and commitment and Manny Rosas and his partner Sergei Kliorin steamrolled through the 65+ 3.5 Men’s Doubles division and proudly came home with gold medals. This was especially satisfying for Manny as it was also accomplished on his birthday! And a week before the matches began he told me he would win the gold on his birthday. Way to go, Manny.
The full story with additional photos will be published in the January View magazine.