You are reading

Local Non-Profit Aims to Promote Exercise by Teaching Underprivileged Kids Pickleball

People playing pickleball (L) and an image of a pickleball paddle with two balls (R) (Photos: Wikipedia and OvertAnalyzer via Wikipedia)

May 19, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

A local nonprofit wants to keep some of the borough’s underprivileged children in good health by promoting exercise via a new sport.

The Floating Hospital, a Long Island City-based organization that provides healthcare services to underserved communities, will soon be coaching some of the city’s homeless children how to play a unique racket sport.

The sport, called pickleball, is a cross between tennis, ping pong and badminton. It is growing in popularity because it is considered to be easy to play, and people of nearly all skill levels can participate.

Several healthcare educators who work at the Floating Hospital will learn the game themselves next Wednesday and, in turn, teach the children how to play. The non-profit serves nearly 5,000 children across the city who are homeless.

The healthcare educators will be coached by Dr. Rommie Maxey, the 2019 U.S. Open pickleball champion, at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center — the home of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship — in Flushing Meadows.

The training session will coincide with the first New York City Pickleball Open, which will take place at the famed venue next week. Around 2,000 athletes are expected to take part in the tournament.

Pickleball involves hitting a wiffle ball over a net—and the game is for two of four players. A court looks like a small tennis court, although it is lined like a badminton court. Players use paddles that are slightly smaller than tennis racquets.

The overall aim of the pickleball initiative is to keep the children healthy and active by encouraging them to take up the sport.

“Outside of getting them fresh food, our number one challenge is providing young people with exercise options that are easy, free and fun,” said Sean T. Granahan, president of the Floating Hospital.

“Pickleball can do that in a fun, communal setting. It’s something kids can do together, pretty much anywhere.”

Children going through books at the Floating Hospital (Photo provided by VSK Public Relations)

The educators will hone their skills and then teach around 100 homeless children to play the game, according to the organization. They hope to teach more children the sport over time.

Richard Porter, president of InPickleball, a magazine dedicated to pickleball, said that young people can pick up the basic skills of the sport quite quickly.

“By showing these kids a simple way to better health, we can make meaningful progress toward health equity in New York.”

“Pickleball is about the things our world needs most today – health, joy and togetherness.”

Children at The Floating Hospital (Photo provided by VSK Public Relations)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.

Man dies in East Elmhurst house fire that left 10 others injured: FDNY

A man was killed in a fire that broke out inside an East Elmhurst home that also left 10 others injured late Friday night, according to the FDNY.

The FDNY received a call regarding the two-alarm fire that broke out just after 11 p.m. in a three-story residential home at 24-37 89th St. on Friday, Jan. 20. FDNY sent 25 units consisting of 106 firefighters and EMS workers to the scene. Additionally, officers from the 115th Precinct responded to the scene.