Playing pickleball at Brooksby Village in Peabody.

New indoor court pleases Brooksby pickleball players

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New indoor court pleases Brooksby pickleball players

Playing pickleball at Brooksby Village in Peabody.

With close to nine million enthusiasts nationwide, it’s clear that pickleball is a popular pastime. And nowhere is that more evident than at Brooksby Village, an Erickson Senior Living community in Peabody, Mass., which recently added an indoor court for year-round play.

“The new pickleball court has been a real hit,” says Justin Paradis, Brooksby’s associate executive director. “It’s in the community’s catering room – complete with a striped court floor and all the equipment that our passionate players need.”

Thanks to a $500 million investment from Erickson Senior Living, residents like Glenn Rogers are enjoying new amenities and activities that support their health and well-being.

“The new court is a wonderful place to play!” says Glenn, leader of Brooksby’s popular pickleball group.

On Tuesday evenings and weekend mornings at Brooksby, passersby hear the sounds of laughter and the distinctive “pop, pop, pop” of ball-against-paddle coming from the new court.

Because pickleball is similar to other games such as tennis and squash, it’s fairly easy to learn. And differences in the paddle, ball, court size, and rules make it a bit easier to play.

“It demands less exertion, but you’re still moving around a lot,” Glenn explains. “It’s also a shorter sport in terms of court coverage and length of games. Plus, it’s a great social gathering! I think people love it because of all those features.”

A former tennis and squash player, Glenn has been a racquet-sport enthusiast for years, taking up pickleball before moving to Brooksby with his wife Jennifer about six years ago.

“Most of the pickleball group members have played tennis in the past, and a couple have played squash,” he says. “There are a few players who hadn’t played any sport, but they picked it up rather quickly.”

When Glenn formed the group, there were five regular players. Today, upwards of 20 residents will show up ready to play – with about 10 regulars.

“We started at a nearby sports facility, which stopped offering pickleball a while later,” Glenn recalls. “Within about two months, Brooksby installed the court, so we had a chance to play again rather soon.”

Residents and staff members were pleased to see Brooksby’s pickleball court come together – and gain as much attention as it has.

“Quite fortunately, the catering room here was just large enough to accommodate a court,” says Glenn. “The boundaries of the court were inlaid into the existing floor. It’s a great medium!”

Says Paradis: “There was only one room we identified where we could fit the pickleball court – the catering room. We called in a flooring company that took care of inlaying the court striping, and we purchased the net and paddles.”

Fitness Manager Rokia Paone says that, like the fitness department, Brooksby continues to look for ways that residents can make the most of their active, social lifestyle.

“Pickleball is a popular, growing sport, so we are delighted to have a new court and a resident-led group to support anyone who is interested,” Paone says.

Glenn notes that new members are always welcome, even if they don’t have any experience playing.

“Even if you haven’t caught the pickleball bug yet, feel free to swing by the court to see the game being played,” he says. “We have a lot of fun!”

When group members aren’t on the court, they’re catching up with friends on the sidelines and cheering each other on.

“People meet, get to know one another, and make new friendships. We’re a good group, in terms of having fun while we play,” explains Glenn. “So, in addition to the benefits of the physical activity, there are the positives of new personal connections. I think it’s because of the exercise and the enjoyment that people want to do it.”

Looking ahead, Glenn and the pickleball group are hoping to attract even more players this year.

“Pickleball is easy enough to pick up, and it doesn’t cost residents anything to play here!” says Glenn, thankful that Brooksby continues to support him and his neighbors in their endeavors.

To learn more about affordable, independent senior living at Brooksby Village, request your free brochure to get the scoop on amenities, floor plans, and so much more. Θ

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