In a sense, Marco’s YMCA of South Collier got a one-up on Covid-19 this past week with the official opening of nine brand-new pickleball courts.
Speaking before the symbolic ribbon cutting, outgoing board president Ashley Lupo said the Covid crisis had initially led to a measure of uncertainty about the project.
“But,” she told a small, but enthusiastic crowd at the opening, “it provided a healthy, outdoor place for people to play.”
Lupo thanked the contractors, Build, for their over and above efforts, and said the $600,000 project would soon include wind screening, shade provision and some permanent seating.
Fundraising for these extras continues, and donations to the Y are welcome, CEO Cindy Love-Abounader said at the “soft opening” a few weeks ago.
Providing a youthful touch on the court after the formalities were the Steckler brothers, Tristan (10), Preston (8) and Dawson (6), whose mom Maria said all three had shown an affinity for the sport after just one session.
“Also,” she added, “we were getting tired of iPads five hours a day, so now we’ve added this into their curriculum, making sure they play a sport every day. We even bought a pickleball set, so now they can practice at home.”
A special feature of the courts is their “cushion” surface, consisting of six to ten layers of rubberized coating that is on top of the concrete and before being painted in traditional colors.
For information on donating to the project, or for playing times and fees, contact the Marco YMCA. And for more info on its wide variety of programs and activities for adults and children, visit marcoymca.org or call 394-YMCA (9622). Follow on Twitter at ymcamarco; on Facebook @marcoymca; and Instagram at ymcamarco.