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Issue #5

What’s Up, Players?!

 

                 

Round 2 of the The Tour finished this past weekend with a leap into Spring – we had some windy day matches and a recent blast of rain but the Winter sand berm along the beach is gone and if you walk down the Venice canals, you can see and smell the jasmine. To me, this always signals the arrival of warm days and potential to play paddle early in the morning or late into the sunset. Summer is around the corner!

For Andrea and Wulff, they love to see how The Tour has progressed – They truly appreciate how, you, the players, are getting better at scheduling your matches, you accept the format and embrace it, and most importantly, you are making new friends and getting better as a paddle player with every match. “This positive energy has been so exciting for us,” says Wulff. “We feel like we are all a part of a big team and we are all doing our part to grow the sport.”

That, like Spring, is something to celebrate!

Photo of Round 2 groups: Left to Right: Wally , Tyler, Lauren, Fernando. Makani, Laure, Zalina, Lisel. Barry, Christof, Jen, Katie.

 

Greta, Geoff, Andrea, Stephanie

Off the Court Mixers

The monthly Street Paddle Mixer – was last Thursday. Check out the lively photos in our Gallery. We got to witness a beautiful sherbet sunset on the Rooftop of the Erwin Hotel as our now resident band, The Paddle Heads, played vintage Doors, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and more. Who knew that Andrea is a triple threat – player, entrepreneur, and musician?! Looking forward to hearing what other talents you, our paddle players, possess too.

If you missed the live music, check out the set here.

 

The Paddle Heads

Celeste, Daniel, Kirstie

With each mixer, it’s wonderful to see the core group of people who have played paddle for many years mingle with the new players who have joined our community in the last few months. The Venice Courts draw us from all corners of the earth, all walks of life, and one aspect I especially appreciate is that we are an all ages community. Last month we celebrated Budget , a.k.a. Budge, Offer’s 84th birthday, who is a fantastic hitting partner any time of day, and such a friendly and positive person.

Christine, Budge, Leslie, Esmé

Thank you for your comments about The Paddle Times – It’s been interesting to hear what people want to read. So far – it is more articles about playing paddle. The article Point Equity by Brian Wan has a lot of players thinking about their return and more importantly – the quality of their return. This week he follows up with an article, Break Serve More Often by Following the Ball. Learn why this can be a valuable lesson for any player, at any level. If you want to win more Tour sets, Brian will go over his concepts and more during his skills clinic, Fridays 10AM in Venice.

 

Update on the Fences

The one topic I hear most about is still the fences. Just walking around the courts I hear players comment about them, to each other, even to themselves! Each time the ball skids through the bottom of the fence and into the parking lot, we all know just how that player feels about chasing it down. It sucks!

This past week we received some VERY good news. After almost a year, members of Pop Paddle Venice who are: Leslie Martino, Katrina Glusac, Wulff, Mike Rogers, and myself – have been vigilant about raising the issue of the fences, the missing bleachers, the bulletin board, and the state of the courts – and we have finally learned that Superintendent of Venice Beach, Sonya Young-Jimenez, has secured funds to replace the fences, bring in new bleachers, and re-surface the courts!

We will hear the timeline of this overhaul hopefully next week. In the meantime, Venice Rec & Park has given us the green light to temporarily patch the damn holes.

 

The Temporary Plan for the Fences

Leslie Martino and myself – in conjunction with Street Paddle Team –  will be running the #PatchTheHoles Campaign. We can’t tell you how excited we are to actualize real change in our Venice Courts.

You will be able to help us patch the holes with a temporary banner created by the player and graphic designer, Robin Antiga, whose work you have seen on the many paddle shirts worn by players throughout the years.

 

Robin has created a selection of stock images that you can buy or you can also supply a photo of your own that Robin will design for an extra fee. We are mindful not to cover any fences that would prevent anyone from watching matches so you can also donate funds for netting that will also block holes and keep the balls in play. You will be able to do all of this on the Street Paddle site – so stay tuned!

“Repairing the fences and bettering our community is the #1 goal for us,” Andrea says, “I never thought the city would approve this and they did! It’s a symbol of our community – this is happening because of all of us coming together. We are honored to be the platform from which this can happen.” Indeed, this would not have been approved if it were not for you, our passionate paddle community. I also want to shout out to Andrea & Wulff for giving our movement a site from which to launch all things paddle, especially this project.

 

Wulff & Andrea at Indian Wells

So, Players – this is going to be fun – so keep an eye out on Instagram for news about our #patchtheholes campaign or check back to the street paddle site for ways you can purchase a banner, donate for netting and other supplies, or volunteer.

Here is a sample of what you will see:

 

Art with Sydne banner

Last Thoughts

Thank you – it’s been a lot of fun for me getting to know you and even better – getting to play with a lot of new people. There is an obvious need for competitive sports for adults. Having this outlet has not only helped me physically but it has also forced me out of my comfort zone. For instance, having to play and compete with people I do not know seemed daunting at first. I am forced to make adjustments while being mindful to “play my game.” As Larry Nagler mentioned in his Ted Talk  (05:09:00) about playing tennis or in our case, paddle, “it’s problem solving.”

How has playing competitively changed you?

Submit your comments below or an anonymous one here.

 

We may not be able to solve the big problems of the world, like Ukraine or the new BA2 variant, but in our niche world of Paddle Tennis, we can make one shot at a time and go from there.

See you on the courts,

Christine

 

“Three Penns” drawing & “Ukranian Peace”  by Leslie Martino

4 Comments

  • chetan says:

    great news about the fences and bleachers!

  • Sofia Rosende says:

    🙌🏻 Thank you for this Christine. It made my day ❤️ “We may not be able to solve the big problems of the world… but in our niche world of Paddle Tennis, we can make one shot at a time and go from there”