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PICKLING PROWESS: Pickleball group in Berkhamsted wins haul of 13 medals at national competition

 Published on: 1st December 2023   |   By: Annabel Stock   |   Category: Uncategorized

A pickleball club in Berkhamsted are going from strength to strength following their recent success at the England National Pickleball Championships in Bolton.

West Herts Wizards began two years ago when the Everyone Active leisure centre in Berkhamsted launched pickleball, a sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis.

Keith Pollard, a regular user of the leisure centre and a former tennis player, noticed the group playing one day and his curiosity was piqued.

Soon, Keith was hooked and became a pickleball leader. Now, the Wizards boast more than 150 members and run sessions six days a week. Keith says their Wednesday night sessions for beginners are always full of people eager to learn the sport.

Keith explained that the sport, which originated in the USA, is popular with retirement communities and is easier to pick up than sports like tennis and squash because the court is smaller and the ball doesn’t travel as quickly, permitting longer rallies.

The Wizards were very successful at two recent national tournaments, including the England National Pickleball Championships in Bolton. Taking place from October 26 to 29, the Wizards picked up five gold medals, three silver medals and five bronze medals.

The beginner sessions take place on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7pm at Berkhamsted Leisure Centre. To find out more, please contact membership secretary Julie Hoskins at

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