The small pool in the Peck Aquatic Center will be closed for the remainder of the day (6/21). The large pool will remain open. Check the My J App for the Pool Schedules.

Member Communications 3 min read

The Real Dill: Pickleball is Here to Stay

By JCC Milwaukee June 21, 2023

The Real Dill: Pickleball is Here to Stay
According to a recent report by the Association of Pickleball Professionals, approximately 37 million people played pickleball between 2021 and 2022 – up a staggering 160% from the previous year. The JCC, one of the newer hosts for America’s fastest growing sport, is thrilled to have joined in on the fun, offering opportunities for a wide range of players.

“People love how we welcome all levels of play,” said JCC Recreation Director Jake Klavens. “They have also expressed gratitude because we have staff on hand to help explain the rules and facilitate games.”

The JCC broke ground on four multipurpose outdoor pickleball courts late last summer thanks to an anonymous donation. Play continued into the year and soon thereafter, 10 participants quickly tripled, as the JCC Moved inside to take advantage of the Marcus Family Gym’s three full-size courts.

“I love playing at the JCC,” said Cheane Sartler. “It truly feels like a community, filled with laughs and good times. Now I’m excited to soak up every minute of summer in Wisconsin.”

Free to JCC members and the volunteers of the Jewish Community Pantry, pickleball is also accessible to the broader community with the purchase of a play pass. A “launch party” kicked off play last fall, focusing not only on play, but creating opportunities for players to connect with one another.

“I have witnessed friendships develop across generations and backgrounds,” said JCC Senior Program Director Jess Lanke. “People have definitely bonded over their love for the game.” Lanke is also one of the many that have jumped on the pickleball bandwagon. “Playing with this amazing group of people is a highlight of my week.” 

Partnering with PROLITE sports, a Milwaukee based pickleball paddle company, has helped facilitate skill clinics for all levels of play. “It has been wonderful to have true experts in the field sharing knowledge with our players and staff,” Lanke added.

Tournaments and league play are also on the horizon. The JCC’s Inaugural Pickleball tournament is slated for Sunday, July 9, at the JCC.

Click here to read more stories of impact from the 2022-23 Annual Report