The SVE Pickleball Club is grateful for the new courts that were built in partnership by the Club, HOA and support of the community. The popularity of the courts within SVE is shown by the fact that the courts are well used during Club time each weekday morning, as well as used often in afternoons and evenings and new homeowners stated they chose SVE in part because of the new pickleball courts. SVE Club membership grew to 277 members in the 2020-2021 club year in spite of the fact that most of our Canadian members were not here. Going forward, the Pickleball Club expects continued growth of the Club and use of the courts.
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S. growing by 21.3% from 2019 to 2020. The three main hotspots in the U.S. are Florida, Arizona and Utah and 75% of the players are 55 years and older. Our oldest Club member is 90 years old and plays three times a week. Pickleball provides a way for people to stay active and enjoy the competitive nature of racket sports. It is easy to pick up, less technical than tennis, and the smaller court makes it less strenuous. It’s a great way to stay active and healthy- both physically and mentally while having fun and making new friends; and it is one of the few sports where the whole family can play. During holiday breaks you can find three generations of families playing on our courts.
To be proactive, both for the benefit of the Club and the HOA, the Club revitalized its Long-Range Planning Committee in 2020. The following is a major portion of the committee’s plan. (Please refer to the simple diagram included.)
Pickleball Club’s Long-Range Plan:
• Multi-purpose structure built on the east middle berm that would include restrooms, storage area, snack kitchen and covered, shaded patio area. The committee has looked at other clubs’ structures in the Village, including Softball and Tennis and the building at Sunland Springs, but do not have specific dimensions but thinking approximately 20’ x 30’ with an 18’ patio.
• Six more pickleball courts for a total of twelve when the three Sport Courts are replaced for another purpose. The three Sports Courts are specifically used for all Residents, not just Club members, for beginner lessons and drills, Resident beginner Round Robin weekly events, open play time and Resident 75+ open play three mornings a week. The Club uses these courts when open for member overflow when the Pickleball Courts are overly busy.
• Social area that is open and uncovered in the basin between the East berm and the courts where members can gather with guests to watch games and will be used by the Club for organizing Round Robins and events such as Club tournaments, and Inter-Club Play.
• Golf cart parking in two areas. One possible area is across the top of the berm along Nido Avenue between the sidewalk and the slope down to the basin. This berm has a wide, flat top nearly all the way from the Palo Verde parking lot to the entrance of the middle berm. Two curb cuts on Nido Avenue near the west end of the golf cart parking and at the entrance to the middle berm will allow one-way drive through for angled parking. The second possible area is on the flat middle berm. Although it has trees, there is room to put a one-way gravel cart path through the trees and add parking between the trees. These two golf cart parking areas will free up parking spaces along Nido Avenue and in the Palo Verde parking lot.
• Ramp, steps and gates will be added to provide two new entrances to the Pickleball Courts. An ADA ramp on the east-side berm will lead down from the multi-purpose structure to the social area in the basin and to the east entrance of the courts. Steps on the south berm off Natal Avenue will lead to the south entrance of the Pickleball Courts. This will be convenient for parking on the north side of Natal Avenue with a short walk to the south entrance gate. These two new entrances will encourage parking to move to the eastern and southern sides of the basin and away from the Palo Verde parking lot. They will also provide easy exit in case of emergency. Additional permanent bike racks would be placed on the berms so that bikes can be locked to prevent theft as many of our members get to the courts on bikes.
The Pickleball Club has had many years of watching the use of the Sport Courts and sharing it with the Village. It has worked well in the past but even better since the new Pickleball Courts were built. With the construction of the six new pickleball courts, the Sports Courts have been used for the benefit of non-club member Residents with the Pickleball Club providing the volunteers to organize and manage these benefits.
Benefits to the community include:
• providing free lessons for Residents who are beginners and those “new to pickleball”
• skills & drills for beginners so these Residents can practice the skills they are learning
• organizing and managing Resident Beginner Round Robin play on a weekly basis, which has become hugely popular
• organizing Resident 75+ Open Play three mornings a week, which is also very popular
Additionally, the Sport Courts are used as overflow when the 6 courts are busy with the scheduled play such as Ladies’ play, Men’s play, CMARS (East Valley invitational play) and Intermediate Round Robin. The basketball court is often used by residents’ younger guests during holidays and spring break. The volleyball court is no longer used because of lack of players. There remains a dedicated time on the schedule at the Sport Courts in the event that a group would like to start volleyball up again.
This plan provides the following benefits to the Club, the HOA and the SVE community:
• Provides a multi-purpose building that includes much needed restrooms for the hundreds of residents using the pickleball courts, storage for equipment such as the ball machine, a snack kitchen for social events as well as a shaded patio.
• Provides additional courts to meet the needs of our growing Pickleball Club as well as for the use by Residents and their guests. The need for additional courts exists today and will continue to increase as younger residents move in and interest in pickleball continues to grow.
• Draw homebuyers to SVE who are looking for a vibrant and active 55+ community.
• Reduce Pickleball Club parking needs in the Palo Verde area and will free up spaces for other amenities and events in that area.
• Free up space currently used for the Sport Courts to be used for future HOA building needs.
The Pickleball Club looks forward to working with the HOA to meet our joint needs.
Thank you for your consideration.
Christy Vanderhill, chair
SVE Pickleball Club Long-Range Planning Committee (Christy.firstname.lastname@example.org)