We were happy to meet Holland Mayor Mike Yunker this past winter at Rossford Rec. and learn that he and his wife Annie share our enthusiasm for pickleball. We never dreamed, however, that roughly six months later we would be attending his ceremony dedicating three brand new shaded pickleball courts located in the neatly manicured, attractive Strawberry Acres park that offers many other amenities. (Yep, we’re pretty excited about those lovely bathroom facilities.) Mayor Yunker sought the advice of Toledo Pickleball Club ambassadors Marsha Koch and Connie Mierzejewski as well as Al Hager regarding court construction and all other issues related to the start-up of an open pickleball program. The
Barb Hager, Mayor Mike Yunker, Marsha Koch, Al Hager
success of that collaboration was clearly evident on Saturday when newcomers to the sport joined Toledo Pickleball Club members and players to celebrate the completion of the courts.
Following a few short speeches and a ribbon-cutting, Toledo Pickleball members gave a quick demonstration of an abbreviated game. Then the new players hit the courts using the balls and composite paddles that Mayor Yunker purchased for Holland residents to try out while they learn about the sport. The number of Toledo Pickleball players in attendance matched up well with the number of newcomers–we not only provided instruction and encouragement, we retrieved balls for them so they could use their energy to get the feel of the game and absorb the rules.
The courts are open to the public seven days a week and rules for usage/wait times are clearly posted. The mayor plans to offer two morning sessions–probably from 9:00 until noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays–for players aged 50 and over to learn and practice the game. We will post the schedule when he firms up his plans. In the meantime, stop by and try out the courts. We know this location is excellent for many of our players and are hopeful that some of the new Holland players join us in Rossford.
Mike & JoAnne Tressler at the Holland Courts Opening Ceremoies
Once again, we thank the many Toledo Pickleball folks that generously gave their time to assist new players. We were so pleased to have in attendance JoAnne and Mike Tressler, our original Toledo Pickleball ambassadors who brought the game to Toledo, so we could introduce them to new players and express our gratitude for their efforts–every Toledoan currently playing pickleball at any of the locations we advertise on our blog should be aware that these two people are responsible for bringing us together.
Helping the new players at the Holland courts opening ceremonies.
Late-breaking story: The storm held off until our celebration was nearly complete. Unfortunately, one of the shade trees was toppled and took out some fencing and the nice new bleachers. At this point, we don’t think the court surface was damaged. We are confident that the Mayor and his maintenance team will make any necessary repairs as quickly as possible–but there is some work to be done. One court is completely untouched and playable.
Tree down at Holland courts after the storm.