Pickleball demonstration held for developmentally disabled and special needs players

Pickleball is fast growing sport in North America
Pickleball demonstration held for developmentally disabled and special needs players

Dusty Maupin has been participating in Special Olympic events since she was 8 years old.

“I do Special Olympics, and I also go bowling, track and field, basketball and golf and tennis.”

Her favorite sport right now is bowling, but she loves going to every event.

“I like doing that because it gets me out of the house and I can just hangout and have a good time” she added.

So when a pickleball event for those developmentally disabled or with special needs was offered, Dusty was all in.

“I like to make friends and then play.”

The Community Support Services group in Joplin paired with Jerry Rolland, an ambassador for the United States Pickleball Association to teach the basics to Dusty and around 25 others with special needs.

“The best thing about pickle ball is it doesn’t matter if you’re 12 years-old or 70 years-old, it’s a game anybody can plan. You don’t have to have any athletic ability, so we thought this would be a game that would be tailored made for people with special needs” added Rolland.

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong.

“Pickle ball is the fastest growing sport in North America, its grown 650 percent in the last six years so if you think about that its double every year and right now we are currently at 3.8 million people playing” added Rolland.

Eryn Perryman with Community Support Services says it’s seeing the excitement of the group that makes them want to continue offering more events like this.

“Being a part of the community, a lot of times our individuals don’t get that feeling, so by having these events we create friendships and partnerships with the community that allows our individuals to get in the community, but allows our community to partner with us and get to experience the amazing things that happen.”

For Dusty, any opportunity to make friends and try something new is something she is for.

“They wanted to have me come and do pickle ball, so I came and joined.”

The Community Support Services group is hoping to start offering new events each month.

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