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Pickleball lobs into Newcastle for the first time

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Are you keen to try your hand at one of the fastest growing sports in the world, pickleball… right here in the Hunter?

If the answer is “yes”, then here’s your chance.

For the uninitiated, pickleball is a “racquet and ball” sport with a perfect balance of court dimensions, rules and equipment to afford all skill levels.

Using a paddle and plastic “wiffle” ball, and played on a hard surface indoors or outdoors, the game boasts a combination of tactical shots, patience and easy to learn strokes, which encourages an inclusive play environment with no need for modifications or adaptations to cater for gender, ability, or age differences.

Now, Beresfield pickleballers and netballers have been given a boost ahead of the new season with enhanced training facilities delivered as part of a $65,000 project to create a new multisport space for the community.  

The area recently received an upgrade, too, with a dual netball and basketball court alongside a previously unused tennis surface.

That has since been re-purposed to include facilities for Newcastle’s first pickleball centre.

City of Newcastle (CN) completed the transformation of the Allendale Street premises in collaboration with the Beresfield and District Netball Club, which secured a $50,000 grant from the NSW Government with support from Wallsend state MP Sonia Hornery.

“We’re very pleased with the outcome of this project,” secretary Leanne Blackie said.

“We are beyond grateful to all involved for delivering important sporting facilities that will without a doubt drive our local community teams ahead of the new season.”

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said projects such as the upgrade to the Beresfield netball court offered important opportunities for residents to engage in active and healthy lifestyles. 

“We are delighted to have worked with the Beresfield and District Netball Club to deliver this innovative multisport community space in time for the school holidays,” she explained.

“The project also created Newcastle’s first pickleball court, giving residents a place to undertake this inclusive, low-impact sport.

“This upgraded multisport facility will provide a great place for kids and adults to catch up with friends and enjoy some friendly competition. 

“Council is committed to enhancing our sporting and recreational facilities across the local government area, with plans to invest almost $20 million into new and improved parks, playgrounds, sporting and aquatic facilities as part of a record capital works program in our 2023/24 Budget.”

The project involved court surface repairs, top coating and a new anti-slip surface, where the installation of reversible towers with both basketball and netball hoops and dual line marking extended the potential use of the space.

New tennis netting on the adjacent court and line marking for both tennis and pickleball completed the multi-use upgrade of the facility.  

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