July 12, 2024 Donate

Chelsea, Chelsea Sports

Pickleball Community Connection with Rec It Tuesday in Chelsea

By Natalie Davies
Chelsea Area Friends of Recreation (CAFR) hosted Rec It Tuesday at TimberTown on June 25 for community members to learn to play pickleball, enjoy live music and seek library services via Mobee the Chelsea District Library van.

More than 60 people of all ages showed up for the free event. CAFR provided balls and rackets, and volunteer Chelsea Pickleball players taught community members of all ages the basics and rules of the sport.

Kedron, a band of Chelsea teens including Seren and Wyeth Angus, Sam Bieber and Emily Ideson, played live country, bluegrass and Americana music throughout the event.

CAFR President Kristina Martin said Rec It Tuesday started before Covid and was brought back in-person the last few years.

“Our ultimate goal is to help with recreation and create a community center,” Martin said. “We connect with community partners and groups. The best part is seeing people engaged and connected with other people. We hope to create opportunities for connection.”

Laura Ouellette, a USA Pickleball District Ambassador and Great Lakes Recreation Specialist, said Rec It Tuesday helps people learn new skills and meet new people they can connect with again in the future. Chelsea’s new courts are unique because they are more than just open to the public but also host organized open public play from 9 a.m. to noon everyday and 5-8 p.m. on weekdays, she said.

“You see people ages seven to 70 mingling and having fun over a game with friends, family and their community,” Ouellette said. “I love to watch people’s faces when they are excited to learn a new sport and realize they are able to play. People leaving this event are saying, ‘thank you, and we’ll be back soon’.”

Kathryn Dunn and her younger sister Madelyn came with their mom and brother to learn a new sport. Their mom said they frequent Rec It Tuesdays and have a lot of fun.

Chelsea Pickleball player Jan Dominick shared the sport she loves with new players during the event.

“Pickleball is great because it is easy to learn and you make good friends,” Dominick said. “You can play competitively or play friendly, and it is great exercise.”

CAFR Secretary Trista Palmer said CAFR is open to new members and accepts donations via their website but never requires them.

“I love seeing families come out and multiple generations trying new activities together,” CAFR Secretary Trista Palmer said. “It gets people outdoors together, and it doesn’t involve any cost.”

The next Rec It Tuesday event will be held July 9 at CDL at 6 p.m. where participants can make their own reusable water balloons. On July 16, Rec It Tuesday will host knockerball at the old Pierce Lake School by the soccer fields and bus transportation center.